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What happened nationally?

Wednesday, Nov 7, 2018

* The Illinois House Democrats picked up a super majority yesterday. The Senate Democrats added between two and three seats, depending on the final count, to their current veto-proof majority of 37. Here’s NCSL with the national results

The big news is that Democrats made modest gains while Republicans held their robust lead in terms of legislative control. Democrats gained control of six chambers, although Republicans still have a sizable overall advantage in total legislative chambers: R: 61, D: 37. That tallies to 98 chambers because Nebraska’s unicameral Legislature is technically nonpartisan.

In terms of overall legislative control (both House and Senate), Dems gained control of four on Tuesday. Republicans will control 30 versus the Democrats’ 18 when sessions convene in January. Minnesota is now the only state where legislative control is divided. It’s the lowest number of divided legislatures in more than 100 years, matching 1914 when Montana was the only state with a split legislature.

As for state control, which includes the governor along with the legislature, Democrats went from controlling eight to 14. […]

More than 330 seats nationwide shifted from Republican to Democrat. That is short of the typical losses suffered by the party in the White House. The average loss to the president’s party in midterms since 1902 is 424 legislative seats. […]

It is very likely that more women will serve in state legislatures come January than at any point in American history. The numbers are still being crunched.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - Montrose - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    I’m curious to see how governors flipping correlate to that gov’s party having gains in the legislature. How did things play out in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Oregon?


  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    Nationally, Republicans really did well. Far from the worst case scenario. Economy is doing well. That is really what it came down to, I believe.


  3. - RP_Progressive - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    “More than 330 seats nationwide shifted from Republican to Democrat. That is short of the typical losses suffered by the party in the White House. The average loss to the president’s party in midterms since 1902 is 424 legislative seats. […]”

    The reason why Dems in this election cycle didn’t match up to the average pickups against the president’s party is largely because of Republican control of the redistricting process in most states. They’ve drawn the maps to give them a huge advantage that is becoming increasingly difficult for Democrats to pick up majorities. The Dems need to start communicating to rural voters (especially in red states) if they’re ever to gain a majority majority of states.


  4. - Just Me - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    I miss the days of a strong Republican Senate and a strong Democratic House, and a moderate Governor. That structure worked pretty well.


  5. - lakeside - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    “Minnesota is now the only state where legislative control is divided.”

    Yikes. That is… not good.


  6. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    I read that Democratic Senate candidates across the country got something like 10 million more votes than Republican Senate candidates, yet the Republicans won more seats. One person, one vote meets Federalism.


  7. - JB13 - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    Democrats in Illinois: Gerrymandering is the reason Democrats didn’t sweep in historic numbers nationwide in 2018!

    Also Democrats in Illinois: Gerrymandering has nothing to do with anything in Illinois! Sit down and shut up!


  8. - Ric Flair Woo Chop - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    Holding governor’s offices in Ohio and Florida are massive for 2020.


  9. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    === The Dems need to start communicating to rural voters (especially in red states) if they’re ever to gain a majority majority of states. ===

    I am a democratic-leaning rural voter. I have absolutely no idea how to talk to rural voters. So good luck to any city types that think that talking to rural voters is going to help… with “all that money we’re sending up to Chicago” and whatnot.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    I got what I hoped for: Pritzker, U.S. House, Raoul and the extra bonuses of a GA House supermajority and Scott Walker losing. All those with Obama at the Chicago rally won. The U.S. Senate was in much tougher territory and the expectation was that Democrats would not take it.


  11. - SWIL Voter - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    A blue wave happened, and will happen again 2020. 333 flips in an economy with 3.7% unemployment? I’d say that’s a pretty strong repudiation


  12. - ItsMillerTime - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    Illinois Democrats exceeded my expectations while National Democrats failed to meet them. I think we got a couple of things going for us that different State Democrats don’t

    -Election laws and maps that benefit us
    -Chicago, not just in terms of votes but also in available people power to help out other democrats. Casten had a lot of people in Chicago volunteering for him.
    -A well run party organization, I might get pushback on that but I feel confident in saying it’s probably better run then other’s states.
    -That lead weight called Rauner, when your top ticket candidate get’s blown out almost immediately then it’s going to hurt your down ballot.


  13. - Dave Fako - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    What happened nationally, at most levels, is generally what was expected by those who take a practical approach. Taking the Gov. races and State legs gains will help them long term. Democrats had a good day as they should have. They won their core, and expanded their reach into places that have traditionally been GOP (burbs, exurbs), while the GOP basically won what they had or took out long time Dem holdouts in traditional / trending GOP turf. The Dems. expanded their reach into some GOP area, albeit less than they hoped, while the GOP basically held court, or had a minor retraction. That is the positive for Dems. The cautionary note is that the GOP / Conservative / Rural base is holding or drifting farther from Dems. That needs to change if they want to compete in some states / areas or take their other advantages to put themselves in a strong POTUS position. You cannot politically thrive nationally with only urban and suburban votes or govern effectively in that manner either.


  14. - illinois manufacturer - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    According to Daily Kosthe Dem focus was on flipping about 7 not focusing on a big number change so there was a national wave just not a tsunami.


  15. - Father Ted - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    I’m wondering more and more whether the GOP is headed for a split in the next 5-10 years between moderates and the more conservative Trump wing.
    To be clear, I’m not predicting this; just thinking out loud. Moderates and more traditional Republicans in moderate districts have to be wondering what they can do to get out from under the influence of Trump and the more aggressive, socially conservative wing before it’s too late.


  16. - Em - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    =-Election laws and maps that benefit us
    -Chicago, not just in terms of votes but also in available people power to help out other democrats. Casten had a lot of people in Chicago volunteering for him.
    -A well run party organization, I might get pushback on that but I feel confident in saying it’s probably better run then other’s states.
    -That lead weight called Rauner, when your top ticket candidate get’s blown out almost immediately then it’s going to hurt your down ballot.=

    All good points except you forgot a big one, which is the massive amounts of cash JB poured into races tip to bottom.

    Most R’s were outspent at least 3 to 1, some by much more.


  17. - illinois manufacturer - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    Its allready to late . It is the Trump party. Glad you reported this. Important but undercovered. Good coverage of the local changes. Did any judges get voted out.


  18. - ItsMillerTime - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    @Em

    That is a good point, I was not sure if I wanted to add it since it seems like Dems nationwide had a funding advantage and it did not seem to help as much as it should have. But then again, just because you have a funding advantage doesn’t mean it’s the same level as JB, and JB used it to help out other Dems as well.


  19. - Union thug - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    What happened was the blue wave ran into the gerymander wall. As long as I can remember gerymandering has been an issue. It has only gotten worse. Yes I know Illinois does it to. I favor a national solution. Why give up our if no one else will. When it comes to the Senate look at the margins. If you said 10 years ago a democratic would be 1% short in Texas you would have been laughed at.


  20. - Going nuclear - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    I think the Dems did well taking control of the House, considering that we have a strong economy right now. Like others, I see a further realignment of our politics taking place, with more suburban areas joining urban parts of the country in going Democratic and with rural areas going more Republican.


  21. - Voice in the wind - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    But remember why presidents usually lose big in midterms– because their coattails dragged in various marginal seats in the pres year that swing back naturally/randomly in the midterm. Since Trump lost the popular vote and had little to no coattails, he shouldn’t have been expected to have a big loss.


  22. - low level - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 5:32 pm:

    The Electoral College and United States Senate increasingly are problems given the vote descrepancies mentioned above. Not only large cities but large states subsidize smaller ones.

    Longterm this may be a problem, especially if Presidential candidates keep winning with fewer popular votes than their opponents.


  23. - big red - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 7:39 pm:

    The national senate vote numbers are skewed by the fact that California had two Democrats running for the Senate and no Republican.


  24. - RNUG - Wednesday, Nov 7, 18 @ 7:53 pm:

    == The Electoral College and United States Senate increasingly are problems given the vote descrepancies mentioned above. Not only large cities but large states subsidize smaller ones. ==

    I don’t know that it is a problem. The founders designed it that way, as a representative republic, not a democracy. In modern language, that is a feature, not a bug.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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