GOP inroads projected in Tuesday's state legislative elections

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October 29, 2010

Partisan dominance in state legislatures
heading into the 2010 state legislative elections
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By Geoff Pallay and Leslie Graves

MADISON, Wisconsin: Republicans will make significant gains in state legislatures on November 2nd, according to our election projections.

The Republican Party is poised to gain control of up to 18 state legislative chambers on election night. Going into the elections, Democrats control 28 state senates while Republicans control 20. We project that Republicans will gain control of the Alaska and Iowa senates. Meanwhile, Alabama, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and Wisconsin are still too close call and remain a toss-up.

Additionally, the GOP is poised to pick-up at least five state houses and could win as many as 10 houses on election night. Democrats currently control 32 state houses to the GOP’s 16. We project that the GOP will win a majority in Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvaniaand Wisconsin. In addition, Democratic-controlled houses in Alabama, Colorado, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa rest in the toss-up category.

Of the 99 state legislative chambers in the United States, 88 are holding state legislative elections on November 2, 2010. 1,167 of the country's 1,971 state senate seats are up for re-election, while 4,958 (91.6%) of the country's 5,413 state house seats are up for re-election. Altogether, 6,125 of the country's 7,384 state legislative seats are up for re-election in this volatile election year. Democrats control the majority in 52 of the chambers that are up for re-election while Republicans are the majority in 33.

Trifectas at stake

See also: Republican and Democratic state government trifectas

Leading into November 2, 2010, there's a "state house trifecta" in 24 states. A "state house trifecta" is when one political party holds three positions in a state; the governorship along with majority control of the state senate and state house.

Heading into Tuesday's election, the Democratic Party has 16 state house trifectas while the GOP has half that, at eight.

Our analysis indicates that the Democratic Party may lose up to 4 trifectas and the Republican Party may gain as many as 9.

State Senate Predictions

For all details, see Projected outcomes of state senate elections, 2010

Before election: 28

Predicted after election: 21

Before election: 20

Predicted after election: 22
15 Safe or Not Up 3 3 6 2 4 16 Safe or Not Up

State House Predictions

For all details, see Projected outcomes of state house elections, 2010

Before election: 32

Projected after election: 23

Before election: 16

Projected after election: 21
13 Safe or Not Up 6 4 5 5 3 13 Safe or Not Up