As more election returns have come in, the picture of Republican gains in state legislatures has come into sharper focus. Going into Election Day, Republicans had majorities in both legislative chambers in 27 states and Democrats had majorities in both legislative chambers in 19 states. Three states — New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Iowa — had split control. Nebraska’s legislature is unicameral and nonpartisan. Now, after Election Day, Republicans will have unified legislative control in 29 states and Democrats in only eleven states, with seven having split control or tied chambers. There are still unresolved races in two states, Colorado and Washington.
So there are now 66 Republican chambers, up from 57, and 29 Democratic chambers, down from 41. The West Virginia Senate is tied. When the remaining two chambers from Colorado and Washington are added in, we’ll have a final tally. I think it will end up at 66-31-1. The upshot is that the modern GOP has never had this much power in state capitals. Expanding its gubernatorial edge to (at this writing) 31-19 was unexpected. Its legislative gains were even more unexpected. Democratic organizations and left-leaning interest groups have a lot to think about, after they get through the initial waves of shock and waah.