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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

State Legislatures: Red Bupkes

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. Democrats did surprisingly well in state legislatures.

Daniel Nichanian at Bolts:
Two years into President Barack Obama’s term, in 2010, the GOP gained more than 600 legislative seats and unleashed a torrent of right-wing laws that undercut unions and restricted voting rights. In 2014, they gained roughly 250 seats, according to data compiled by Ballotpedia. Democrats returned the favor in 2018 by gaining more than 300 legislative seats, powered by President Donald Trump’s widespread unpopularity.

No such wave occurred in 2022. Republicans gained only 22 legislative seats this fall out of more than 6,000 that were on the ballot, according to Bolts’s review of the latest available results. (Bolts has identified roughly a dozen seats across the country whose results are pending potential recounts and will adjust its calculations as the final results are known. One legislative race in New Hampshire has ended in an exact tie after a recount.)

And it gets worse for Republicans. While they managed to net a few seats overall, their biggest gains came in chambers that they already massively control, such as the West Virginia or South Carolina houses, or else in New York, where they are deeply in the minority.

By contrast, Democrats soared in closely-divided legislatures and seized four previously GOP-held chambers: Michigan’s House and Senate, Minnesota’s Senate, and Pennsylvania’s House. In addition, the GOP seems to have lost control of Alaska’s Senate; a group made up of centrist Republicans and Democratic senators announced on Friday that they would form a coalition to run the chamber. We may not know until 2023 if a similar coalition emerges in the Alaska House, or if the GOP can coalesce to win control of that chamber.