The Republican landslide in 2010 and the subsequent redistricting process in 2012 gave the GOP control of a nearly unprecedented number of legislative chambers. Today, the party controls 59 of the 98 partisan chambers in 49 states, while Democrats control only 39 chambers (One legislature, Nebraska’s is officially nonpartisan).
Once election results are tabulated in the 6,049 legislative races on the ballot in 46 states this year, Republicans could find themselves running even more.
If Iowa Democrats can’t hang on to control of the state Senate, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) will be freer to pursue an ambitious agenda. If Arkansas Republicans keep control of the state House and win the governor’s mansion, the future of that state’s unique approach to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is at risk. In Kentucky, Sen. Rand Paul (R) could take advantage of a Republican state legislature to change a law that prevents him from running for president and re-election to the U.S. Senate at the same time.