October 31, 2020

Dems Hope to Flip 10 State Legislatures

With redistricting next year, control of state legislatures will have a profound impact on future elections.

Beyond the presidency and the U.S. Senate, Democrats hope to win a majority of the nation’s 98 partisan state legislative houses in this election. They’re spending tens of millions of dollars in a concerted effort to flip upwards of 10 of the 59 currently Republican-controlled state bodies. If they’re successful, it will pay dividends over the next decade. Following the 2020 Census, Democrats gaining control of more state legislatures would have significant future electoral implications as the states reshape their districting maps, a process often controlled by the party in power.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, “In 36 states, legislatures draw Congressional or legislative district lines or both, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. In the other 14, lines are drawn by independent or politically appointed commissions.”

Some of the biggest state chambers in play are Texas, Michigan, and North Carolina — second, eighth, and ninth, respectively, in terms of the number of electoral votes. Democrats and leftist PACs have poured millions into Texas, especially since its growing population will increase its number of congressional seats. Democrats will need to flip just nine seats to take control of the state House after picking up 12 in 2018. While the Texas state House is seriously in play for the Democrats, the state Senate is likely to remain in Republican control, as is the governorship, since Governor Greg Abbott isn’t up for reelection this year.

The message is clear for Republicans, and it’s a message President Donald Trump has embraced with his populism: The party needs to work hard in opening the door and appealing to growing ethnic minority communities. As the American population has become increasingly diverse, the suburbs where Republicans traditionally have had their strongest support have increasingly reflected this change. Liberty is colorblind, of course, but Republican candidates have to make sure voters know that.

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