Monday, December 15, 2014

Republicans Control Most of State Legislatures

Democrats hanging onto the Colorado House was an anomaly. The national Republican sweep was broad and deep.

Republicans added three governors (net) to a recent record high of 31. They extended their control of legislative chambers from 59 out of 98 to 68, another record (11 chambers flipped, including the Colorado State Senate). They now have the 4,100 legislative seats out of 7,363, a record high (since 1920).

Democrats controlled both houses of the legislature and the governorship in 15 states before the election, including Colorado. They now have just 7, compared to 23 Republican.

The 10-year dominance of Colorado Democrats was most felt at the state legislative level. Multi-millionaires, special interest groups and their strategists realized that, given their culture and social agenda, the state legislature should be the target and could be won over with money and organization.

On November 4 Election Night Republicans were within striking distance of a three-seat pickup in Senate and five in the House. Ultimately, they gained one and control of the Senate and three, but not control, in the House. Between reappointment and Democratic resources, Republicans have a ways to go to take control.

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