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State Legislative Tracker: Current state legislative partisan breakdown

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October 3, 2011

Edited by Geoff Pallay

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This week's tracker features an update on the current state legislative partisan breakdown.

Partisan breakdown

As of October 3, the following figures represent the cumulative partisan breakdown of the 50 state senates and state houses. In the 50 states, Republicans currently control 53.47%% of all seats while Democrats hold 45.1%. All told, Republicans control 57 chambers while Democrats are the majority in 37 chambers.

The totals represent an increase of eight Democratic and a loss of three Republican legislators from the September tracker.

Representation in 50 State Legislatures
Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state legislators 3,329 45.1%
Republican state legislators 3,948 53.47%
Independent state legislators 64 0.87%
Third party (and non-voting) legislators 11 0.15%
Vacancies 24 0.44%
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The partisan composition of state houses refers to which party holds the majority of seats in the state house or the lower level of each state legislature. Altogether, in the 49 state houses, there are 5,413 state representatives.

As of October 3, 2011, the breakdown of chamber control by party is as follows:

  • Democratic Party 18 chambers
  • Republican Party 29 chambers
  • Purple.png 1 chamber (Oregon)
See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Cumulative numbers

As of October 3, 2011 5,367 state representatives are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.

Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state representatives 2,448 45.22%
Republican state representatives 2,919 53.93%
Independent state representatives 13 0.24%
Third party (and non-voting) representatives 9 0.17%
Vacancies 24 0.44%

Vacancies

There are 24 state house vacancies in 13 different states as of October 3, 2011. They are as follows:

State Vacancies
Alabama 1
Georgia 4
Maine 1
Massachusetts 1
Missouri 4
New Hampshire 2
New Jersey 2
Ohio 1
Oklahoma 1
Oregon 1
South Dakota 1
Texas 1
Vermont 1
Washington 1
Wisconsin 1
Wyoming 1

Independents

There are 22 state representatives in 11 states identifying as independents or parties other than Democratic and Representative as of October 3, 2011. They are as follows:

State Independents/Third Party
Georgia 1 (Independent)
Louisiana 2 (Independent)
Maine 3 (2 non-voting Native American representatives, 1 Independent)
New Mexico 1 (Independent)
New York 2 (Independence Party of New York)
North Carolina 1 (Independent)
Tennessee 1 (Carter County Republican)
Vermont 8 (5 Vermont Progressive Party, 3 Independent)
Virginia 2 (Independent)
Wisconsin 1 (Independent)

The partisan composition of state senates refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in the state senate. Altogether, in the 50 state senates, there are 1,971 state senators.

As of October 3, 2011, the breakdown of chamber control by party is as follows:

See also: Partisan composition of state houses

Cumulative numbers

As of October 3, 2011, 1,910 state senators are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.

Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state senators 881 44.70%
Republican state senators 1029 52.21%
Nonpartisan state senators 49 2.49%
Independent state senators 4 0.20%
Third Party state senators 2 0.10%
Vacancies 8 0.41%

Vacancies

There are 8 state senate vacancies as of October 3, 2011.

State Vacancies
Georgia 1
Iowa 1
Minnesota 2
Mississippi 1
New Mexico 1
North Dakota 1
Oklahoma 1

Independents

There are 6 state senators in 5 states identifying as independents or parties other than Democratic and Representative as of October 3, 2011. They are as follows:

State Independents/Third Party
Alabama 1 (Independent)
Kentucky 1 (Independent)
Maine 1 (Independent)
Rhode Island 1 (Independent)
Vermont 2 (Vermont Progressive Party)

Sessions

So far this year, 43 out of 50 state legislatures have officially adjourned their regular session. However, several special sessions remain on tap for the rest of the year.[1] This week, no states are scheduled to adjourn their 2011 regular session.

Current sessions capture for the week of October 3, 2011

Regular sessions

The following 7 states remain in regular legislative sessions:

** New Hampshire is in recess until October 12, Pennsylvania (Senate) is in recess until October 17, and Wisconsin is in recess until October 18.
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2011 session information.

While most state legislatures are not currently in session, a good number of legislators remain active this fall with redistricting hearings and meetings.

Special sessions

Special sessions have been and are expected to be a widespread occurrence in the state legislatures in 2011, in particular due to the necessity of states to conduct the redistricting of state legislative and congressional districts. Last week the Maine State Legislature convened a special session on redistricting.

The Missouri State Legislature remains in special session to address an economic development plan.[2] North Carolina is scheduled to convene another special session on November 7.[3]

So far this year, there have been 30 special sessions in 21 states.

State Legislative Tracker: A glance at state legislatures
Number of special elections this year 84
Number of special sessions this year 30
Number of states that held special sessions this year 21
Number of seats up for general election this year 578

The following states have special sessions scheduled:

  • Utah: To begin on October 3 to conduct redistricting
  • Rhode Island: October 2011 to discuss pensions issues
  • Maryland: To begin on October 17 to conduct redistricting
  • South Dakota: To begin on October 24 to conduct redistricting
  • North Dakota: To begin on November 7 to conduct redistricting

In recess

As of October 3, 17 states' sessions are currently in mid-term recess:

  • Alaska - Mid-term recess April 18 through January 16, 2012[4]
  • California - Mid-term recess September 9 through January 4, 2012.[5]
  • Delaware - July 1, 2011 through January 10, 2012[4]
  • Georgia - Mid-term recess April 15 through January 8, 2012[4]
  • Hawaii - Mid-term recess May 6 through January 7, 2012[4]

  • Illinois - June 23 through October 24, 2011 (est.)[4]
  • Iowa - Mid-term recess June 30 through January 8, 2012[4]
  • Kansas - Mid-term recess June 1 through January 8, 2012[4]
  • Minnesota - Mid-term recess May 24 through January 23, 2012[4]

  • Tennessee - Mid-term recess May 22 through January 9, 2012[4]
  • Vermont - Mid-term recess May 7 through January 3, 2012[4]
  • Washington - Mid-term recess April 23 through January 8, 2012[4]

Elections

See also: State legislative elections, 2011
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A total of 578 seats will be up for general election in state legislatures in 2011.

In this year's 2011 election cycle, one legislative primary remains in Louisiana on October 22, 2011. New Jersey held statewide primaries on June 7, 2011, Mississippi held statewide primaries on August 2, and Virginia held primaries on August 23.

The signature filing deadline for candidates in Louisiana was Tuesday, September 8. A total of 39 state senate and 105 state house seats will be up for election in 2011. Louisiana uses a blanket primary system. Because Louisiana uses a blanket primary system, a candidate can be declared the overall winner of the seat by garnering 50 percent +1 of the vote in the primary on October 22, 2011. However, if no candidate reaches this threshold, then a general election will take place on November 19, 2011.

Additionally, there are six states holding special elections on November 8, 2011.

  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Special elections

See also: State legislative special elections, 2011

There are no states holding legislative special elections this week. The next special election will be held on October 11 in Oklahoma. State senator Jim Reynolds (R) resigned his seat, effective July 1, after being elected Cleveland County treasurer. A special election primary was held August 9.[6]

Democratic Party Democratic Primary Candidates:
Republican Party Republican Primary Candidates:
General election candidates:
Democratic Party Kenneth Meador
Republican Party Greg Childers

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • October 18: Georgia House District 43
  • October 18: Massachusetts House District 3rd Berkshire
  • October 18: Minnesota Senate Districts 46, 61
  • November 8: Georgia House Districts 10, 25 & Senate District 50
  • November 8: Iowa Senate District 18
  • November 8: Mississippi Senate District 8
  • November 8: Missouri House District 15, 39, 41, 83
  • November 8: Tennessee Senate District 6
  • November 8: Texas House District 14
  • November 8: Wisconsin Assembly District 95

References