Nov 7 Democrats were on track to capture more
state legislative seats than Republicans in Tuesday's election,
as President Barack Obama's re-election spilled into local
races, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported on
"Democrats will almost certainly net more seats than the
GOP, continuing a strong 'coattails' trend," the bipartisan
organization said in a statement. "Including this year, the
party winning the White House has gained seats in legislatures
in 21 of the past 29 presidential-cycle elections."
Democrats wrested the Colorado House and New York Senate
from Republicans and gained control of the Oregon House, which
had been tied, the NCSL reported.
The president's party also took back both chambers of the
Minnesota legislature that went to Republican control in 2010's
midterm election. While the Democratic Legislative Campaign
Committee said the party won control of Maine's chambers, which
Republicans also captured in the 2010 wave, the NCSL said it
could not confirm the takeover.
Meanwhile, Republicans took over the Wisconsin Senate, where
Democrats held a short-lived majority as a result of a June
recall election touched off by a Republican-led effort to limit
the power of public sector unions in that state.
Republicans also gained control of the House and Senate in
Arkansas, the last southern state where Democrats were the
majority in both chambers, the NCSL reported. Alaska's tied
Senate also swung to Republicans.
Heading into the election, Republicans filled almost 55
percent of all partisan legislative seats and controlled 59
legislative chambers, while Democrats controlled 36 chambers and
three were tied, according to the NCSL. Nebraska's
single-chamber legislature is nonpartisan.
Republicans were able to defend most of the chambers they
won in 2010, according to Chris Jankowski, president of the
Republican State Leadership Committee.
"One thing remains clear - Republicans are the dominant
party in the states holding a majority of state legislatures,
governorships, lieutenant governorships, secretaries of state
and half of the nation's attorneys general," he said in a
There were more than 6,000 races for state lawmaker on
ballots nationwide, accounting for 82 percent of legislative
seats. On average, 13 chambers switch party control every two
years, the NCSL said.
Four years ago, the battle for state legislative seats ended
in somewhat of a stalemate between the parties. Then in 2010,
Republicans made big gains, riding on a political wave that gave
the party control of the U.S. House of Representatives.