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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Election News: State and U.S. Territories Roundup

What happened in the 98 partisan state houses? (Nebraska’s unicameral legislature is officially non-partisan). Data is still subject to change, but preliminary results are available (before & after the election) on the http://NCSL.org website.

49 State Senates:

Most states saw no change, or a change of 1 or 2 seats. In several states the Rs picked up 3 seats: NY, ND, SC, WV, and WI. The biggest shift was NH, where Rs picked up 4 seats. [The largest and smallest state senate, Minnesota and Alaska, have 67 and 20 members, respectively.]

49 State Houses:

Again, many states saw no change or a swing of 4 or fewer seats. Some exceptions include CT where Ds picked up 6 seats. Republican gains in state houses include: FL (+5), IA (+6), KY (+13), ME (+8), MN (+5), MT (+10), NH (+55), NC (+5), OK (+5), WV (+18), and WY (+12). [New Hampshire has the largest state house, with 400 members. The next largest is Pennsylvania, with 180 members. The smallest state house is Alaska, with 40 members.]

Republican net gains in state legislative races will probably exceed 150 seats. But the only changes in partisan control were the NH-House & NH-Senateboth flipped from D to R. NH has a R governor. So this state is now an R state. But both U.S. senators from NH are Ds, and its two U.S. House members are Ds, and it voted Biden/D in the presidential election.

The only governorship to flip was Montana: from D to R. The legislature was already R. So the state is now an R state. At the federal level, MT voted for Trump/R. It has 1 D and 1 R U.S. senator, and it has 1 at-large R U.S. House member.

As to the federal territories: no change in partisan control in DC, Guam, and U.S. VI. There are no 2020 election results yet from the Marianas. But, the big, big news is Puerto Rico. In PR, there was a shift in control in the territorial Senate and House. Both flipped from NPP to PDP. My understanding is that PDP wants continued commonwealth status—and not statehood. This is what is called news. The territorial governor has been in office since 2019, and she is affiliated with NPP—a party which supports statehood. Thus, political control of the island territory is divided. If that is not confusing enough, historically, NPP loosely affiliates with the “mainland” Republican Party, and the PDP loosely affiliates with the “mainland” Democrat Party.


Seth Barrett Tillman, Election News: State and U.S. Territories Roundup, New Reform Club (Dec. 2, 2020, 8:40 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/12/election-news-state-and-us-territories.html>; 

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