Republican trifecta gains create recipe for powerful impact on redistricting

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November 3, 2010

Trifectas leading into the November 2 election
(Click to enlarge)

By Geoff Pallay

Story updated to reflect Oregon House has been called as a tie.[1]

As of early afternoon on November 3, Republicans have made sweeping gains in state legislatures and gubernatorial seats, having picked up as many as 19 state legislative chambers and a net gain of 6 gubernatorial seats. Apart from these individual gains, the GOP saw a dramatic increase overnight in the number of states where it has a state government "trifecta", or joint control of a state's gubernatorial position, state senate and state house.

The GOP's hold on state government trifectas has increased from 8 to 20, while the Democratic Party's hold on state government trifectas has declined from 16 to 9. Three states remain in play as of mid-afternoon on November 3. In these states, the Democratic Party could pick up an additional 2 trifectas giving it a total of 11, while the Republican Party could pick up 1 more, giving it a total of 21.

These GOP gains will resonate strongly in the redistricting process that follows the 2010 census, because in most states, the process of congressional redistricting is strongly influenced by the governor, the majority leader of the state senate and the majority leader of the state house.

Despite the Democratic Party winning a trifecta in California, California also voters overwhelmingly defeated Proposition 27 and soundly approved Proposition 20. Proposition 20 further empowers the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to also draw California's U.S. Congressional district boundaries, circumventing potential meddling by the California Legislature. Similarly, the Republican Party picked up a trifecta in Florida, while Florida voters approved the SEIU-sponsored Amendment 6, which sets new standards that the Florida State Legislature must conform to when it draws congressional district lines.

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Trifectas after the November 2 election. Note: There are still 5 states that could become trifectas.
(Click to enlarge)

State legislative changes

With 88 out of 99 state legislative chambers at stake, the Republican Party picked up 19, with two chambers still undecided. Thus, the current breakdown of power in state legislatures is:

The remaining two undecided chambers as of 4:00 p.m. Eastern on November 3, 2010 are:

Gubernatorial changes

In addition to the state legislative swings, Republicans have picked up 11 gubernatorial positions, while surrendering 4 seats to the Democratic Party and 1 seat to an Independent, for a current net gain of 6 seats, with results still to be determined in 3 close races in Illinois, Minnesota and Oregon, as of mid-afternoon on November 3.

Potential additional trifectas

There are still 3 states that could become trifectas. Two of those states could become Democratic trifectas while 1 could become Republican. Those states are:
For Democrats

For Republicans

Based on the current breakdown of 20 states and 8 states, the following number of Congressional districts would be in states with trifectas held by each party:

Before and after chart

See also: Republican and Democratic state government trifectas
State Before November 2010 After November 2010
Governor State Senate State House Governor State Senate State House
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska NA NA
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

References

See also

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