Republicans Win State Legislatures in Key Census Year

New Hampshire State House (Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr / CC)
Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr / CC

Republicans thwarted Democrats’ efforts to win control of state legislatures — in a key Census year, when state legislatures are poised to redraw congressional districts for the next decade.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday:

Democrats have come up short in their bid to flip control of several state legislative chambers this year and gain power in a coming round of redistricting.

As of late Wednesday, Republicans had flipped control of two chambers, the New Hampshire state House and Senate, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Arizona’s state Senate and House were too close to call.

Of the 98 partisan chambers, Republicans will control at least 59 next year. (Nebraska has a nonpartisan, unicameral Legislature.)

Republicans will control both legislative chambers in 24 of the 36 states in which legislatures draw district lines for U.S. Congress, the state legislature itself, or both, according to the conference.

Democrats failed to flip ten legislative chambers that they had targeted, despite spending at least $88 million. They said that misleading polls were partly to blame.

Pew added:

It was a disappointing result for Democrats who were hoping for a “blue wave” election that would reach down to statehouses and put them in a better position for progressive legislation and new electoral maps.

In most states, the election will maintain existing conditions, a shift from recent elections in which at least a half-dozen chambers changed control, according to Wendy Underhill, director of the elections and redistricting team at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“This year, unlike all the others, with so much noise and money going into this election, and yet the results are status quo, no change,” she said. “It’s jaw-dropping.”

Democrats were particularly disappointed by their failure to win state legislative seats in Texas, where Joe Biden under-performed.

Congressional districts are redrawn every ten years, based on Census data. In most states, the process of redrawing the districts falls to state legislatures, with maps subject to judicial review.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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