State Legislature picture and electoral outlook

The recent State legislative seat balance of power is below.

It is noteworthy that Democrats have not picked up a great deal of legislative seats in the last couple of cycles, even though they did well nationally.

That could portend a large wave of seats if the Democrats have a large national wave this year.

Chambers in play, per Cook Political:

Alaska House: It is not the partisan majority, which will remain Republican, rather it is a very organized effort by Republicans to oust moderate Republicans who have been allying with Democrats to control the chamber as a coalition.

Arizona: Democrats have an excellent opportunity to flip both Houses of the Legislature.

Florida: The State Senate is in play, but it will be difficult for Democrats to flip.

Georgia: Both Houses of the Legislature are in play, but again, it will be difficult for Democrats to flip either one.

Iowa: The State House is in play but will again be difficult for Democrats to flip.

Maine: The State Senate is in play, but in this election cycle, unlikely Republicans can flip it.

Michigan: Democrats have a good chance to flip the State House.

Minnesota: Democrats have an excellent chance to flip the State Senate.

New Hampshire: Republicans have an outside chance at the State Senate.

North Carolina: Democrats have a small chance at flipping either or both chambers.

Pennsylvania: Democrats have a small chance at flipping either or both chambers, smaller than in North Carolina.

Texas: Democrats have an outside shot at flipping the State House.

State Legislative seats balance of power since 2009.

(Note: Nevada’s single legislative chamber is included in the cumulative State Senate total and its 49 members count as others since they are officially elected on a non-partisan basis.)

2009: (reflects Obama’s 1st election, significant Democrat wave)

Senate: 1971 total seats, 1024 Democrat, 889 Republican, 52 Other, 6 Vacant
House: 5411 total seats, 3058 Democrat, 2334 Republican, 17 Other, 2 Vacant

2011: (reflects the broader electoral kickback against Democrats in 2010)

Senate: 1971 total seats, 888 Democrat, 1027 Republican, 54 Other, 2 Vacant
House: 5411 total seats, 2468 Democrat, 2917 Republican, 19 Other, 3 Vacant, 4 Undecided

2013: (reflects Obama’s 2nd election, a very weak move towards Democrats)

Senate: 1972 total seats, 889 Democrat, 1022 Republican, 55 Other, 6 Vacant
House: 5411 total seats, 2592 Democrat, 2791 Republican, 24 Other, 4 Vacant

2015 (reflects the strong 6th year Republican wave)

Senate: 1972 total seats, 828 Democrat, 1087 Republican, 52 Other, 4 Vacant, 1 Undecided
House: 5411 total seats, 2342 Democrat, 3039 Republican, 22 Other, 2 Vacant, 6 Undecided

2017 (Trump’s election, modest Republican wave)

Senate: 1972 total seats, 796 Democrat, 1124 Republican, 52 Other
House: 5411 total seats, 2332 Democrat, 3055 Republican, 22 Other, 2 Vacant

2019/20 (Strong Democrat wave, also includes 2019 odd year election)

Senate: 1972 total seats, 856 Democrat, 1055 Republican, 53 Other, 8 Vacant
House: 5411 total seats, 2586 Democrat, 2779 Republican, 28 Other, 18 Vacant


Thanks Safiel. I use Ballotpedia a lot to keep track of this. There are so many chambers and seats up in an election it gets complicated. Nice breakdown. But yeah, Democrats took a lot of the easy chances to flip chambers in 2017 and 2018. And they did pretty damn well then. If that can continue in 2020 with a national election I’m hopeful for more than a few of these chambers to flip.

I’ll be interested to see how the campaign staff brain drain affects all this. A lot of the mid-range talent on the GOP side is sitting this one out, running single issue campaigns or for PACs instead, because they don’t want to take the ding to their rep if there’s a down ballot blowout thanks to Trump.

Thanks Safiel that is good information.
Down ballot races are going to be more important this year. If everything falls into place as I think it will, the Republican party will have quite a bit of soul searching to do.

I don’t know about Michigan. It has been estimated that the Dems would have to win by 18 points to gain control of the legislature (either one).