State legislative battleground chambers, 2014

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2014 State Legislative Elections

Contents
What made our list
ArizonaArkansasColoradoIowaKentuckyMaineArizonaArizonaMichiganMinnesotaNevadaNew HampshireNew MexicoNew YorkOregonPennsylvaniaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsin

Other 2014 Election coverage
Ballot measuresState executive officialsSchool boards
State legislaturesU.S. HouseU.S. Senate

In the 50 states, there are 99 state legislative chambers altogether, and 87 of the 99 chambers are holding state legislative elections on November 4, 2014. A total of 1,090 (55.3%) of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for election in November 2014, and 4,958 (91.6%) of the country's 5,411 state house seats are up for election. Altogether, 6,048 (81.9%) of the country's 7,383 state legislative seats are up for election during the midterm election year.

Of the 87 chambers with elections in 2014, Ballotpedia staff identified the top 20 state legislative chambers to watch.

In 15 of the chambers, the difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republicans amounts to 10 percent or less of the seats up for election in 2014. If any of the country's state legislative chambers do switch party control as a result of the November 2014 elections, those switches are most likely to occur in these 15 chambers. An additional five chambers were included for having a small difference in partisan balance even though that difference was greater than 10 percent of the seats up for election. Vacant seats were attributed to the party that previously held the district.

See also: State legislative elections, 2014

What made our list

A total of 20 chambers in 17 states made Ballotpedia's list of elections to watch. Those states and chambers are:

Although some of the chambers included on the list are at risk of flipping between Democratic and Republican majorities, the list is not meant to predict such changes in partisan control. The list is an indicator of close chambers paired with a look at how many districts in any given chamber held competitive elections in 2012. Special elections were not factored in the creation of the list.

The following table details the 20 chambers on Ballotpedia's list. Competitive districts are defined by a margin of victory of 5 percent or less in 2012. Mildly competitive districts are defined by a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

2014 State Legislative Battleground Chambers
Chamber Seats up Partisan difference % Partisan difference 2012 Competitive districts 2012 Mildly competitive districts
Arkansas House 100 3 3.0% 7 10
Washington Senate 25 1 4.0% 1 3
New York Senate 63 3 4.8% 8 1
Colorado Senate 18 1 5.6% 3 3
New Mexico House 70 4 5.7% 9 6
Iowa House 100 6 6.0% 18 9
Iowa Senate 25 2 8.0% 4 8
Kentucky House 100 8 8.0% 4 10
West Virginia House 100 8 8.0% 18 9
Michigan House 110 9 8.2% 8 13
New Hampshire Senate 24 2 8.3% 5 3
Pennsylvania House 203 18 8.9% 7 10
Minnesota House 134 12 9.0% 17 21
Nevada Senate 11 1 9.1% 5 0
New Hampshire House 400 40 10.0% 85 33
Maine Senate 35 4 11.4% 7 7
Arizona Senate 30 4 13.3% 1 3
Oregon Senate 15 2 13.3% 0 2
Pennsylvania Senate 25 4 16.0% 3 0
Wisconsin Senate 17 3 17.7% 1 1

States

Arizona

Arizona

The Arizona Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of four seats, which amounts to 13 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of four districts were competitive or mildly competitive. In 2012, District 8 had a margin of victory of three percent. Three other districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent. As of April 2014, Arizona is one of 23 Republican State government trifectas.

Note: The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is May 28, 2014.

Arkansas

Arizona

The Arkansas House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of three seats, which amounts to 3 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 17 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were seven districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another 10 districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

A total of 28 incumbent representatives are not running for re-election in 2014, while 72 are seeking re-election. Six of those incumbents will face primary competition on May 20. As of April 2014, Arkansas is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Republicans picked up five seats during the 2012 election to gain control of the chamber for the first time since 1974.[1] Prior to the 2010 election, Republicans held just 28 seats in the chamber; 23 less than their standing heading into the 2014 elections.

Arkansas House of Representatives partisan balance
Party Prior to 2010 Prior to 2012 Prior to 2014
Democratic Party 71 54 48
Republican Party 28 46 51

Colorado

Arizona

The Colorado Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of one seat, which amounts to 5.6 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, when 16 districts were up for election, a total of six districts were competitive or mildly competitive. Two of those districts, District 19 and District 22, are up for election again in 2014. Both of those districts had a margin of victory of 5 percent or less in 2012. As of April 2014, Colorado is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

Iowa

Arizona

The Iowa Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of two seats, which amounts to 8 percent of the chamber. In 2012, when 26 seats were up for election, a total of 12 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. One of those districts, District 49, is up for election again in 2014. That district had a margin of victory of 9 percent in 2012.

Five incumbent state senators are not running for re-election in 2014. A total of 20 will seek re-election. Four incumbents will face primary competition on June 3.

The Iowa House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of six seats, which amounts to 6 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 27 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were 18 districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another nine districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

Ten incumbent state representatives are not running for re-election in 2014. Of the 90 seeking re-election, six will face primary competition.

As of April 2014, Iowa is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Kentucky

Arizona

The Kentucky House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of eight seats, which amounts to 8 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 12 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were four districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another 10 districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

Seven incumbent state representatives are not running for re-election, while 93 are running. A total of 11 incumbents will face primary competition on May 20. As of April 2014, Kentucky is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Maine

Arizona

The Maine Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of four seats, which amounts to 11.4 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 14 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were seven districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another seven districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

Note: Governor Paul LePage signed Maine's redistricting plans on June 14, 2013, making the 2014 elections the first cycle to be affected by the 2010 redistricting process in Maine.

The majority control of the Maine State Senate has changed hands several times after recent elections. Democrats flipped the chamber in 2012 after picking up six seats. Prior to that, Republicans took the chamber after the 2010 elections when they gained five seats. As of April 2014, Maine is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Maine State Senate partisan balance
Party Prior to 2010 Prior to 2012 Prior to 2014
Democratic Party 20 15 19
Republican Party 15 19 15

Michigan

Arizona

The Michigan House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of nine seats, which amounts to 8.2 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 21 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were eight districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another 13 districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent. As of April 2014, Michigan is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

Note: The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is April 22, 2014.

Minnesota

Arizona

The Minnesota House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of 12 seats, which amounts to 9 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 38 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were 17 districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another 21 districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent. As of April 2014, Minnesota is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

Note: The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is June 3, 2014.

Nevada

Arizona

The Nevada Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of one seat, which amounts to 9 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, a total of five districts were competitive, with a margin of victory was 5 percent or less.

One incumbent state senator is not seeking re-election in 2014. Of the 10 incumbents running for re-election, two will face primary competition. As of April 2014, Nevada is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

New Hampshire

Arizona

The New Hampshire Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of two seats, which amounts to 8.3 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of eight districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were five districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another three districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

With vacant seats counting towards the party that previously held the seat, the New Hampshire House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of 40 seats, which amounts to 10 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 118 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were 85 districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another 33 districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

As of April 2014, New Hampshire is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Both chambers in the New Hampshire State Legislature have gone through dramatic twists and turns in partisan balance since the 2010 elections. The following chart illustrates the partisan balance heading into each of the most recent elections.

New Hampshire state legislative partisan balance
Party Prior to 2010 Prior to 2012 Prior to 2014
New Hampshire State Senate
Democratic Party 14 5 11
Republican Party 10 19 13
New Hampshire House of Representatives
Democratic Party 216 103 220
Republican Party 174 288 179

Note: The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is June 13, 2014.

New Mexico

Arizona

The New Mexico House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of four seats, which amounts to 5.7 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 15 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were nine districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another six districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

Nine incumbent state representatives are not running for re-election in 2014. Of the 61 incumbents seeking re-election, 11 will face primary competition. In one of those districts with an incumbent facing primary competition, District 29, the incumbent won by 5 percent in 2012. As of April 2014, New Mexico is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Democrats have controlled the New Mexico House of Representatives since 1952.[1] Republicans would need to pick up three seats to take the majority.

New York

Arizona

The New York Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of three seats, which amounts to 4.8 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of nine districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were eight districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Additionally, District 37 had a margin of victory of 8 percent. As of April 2014, New York is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Oregon

Arizona

The Oregon Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of two seats, which amounts to 13.3 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, when 14 districts were up for election, a total of two districts were mildly competitive, with a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

One incumbent state senator is not seeking re-election in 2014. None of the 14 incumbents who are seeking re-election in 2014 will face primary competition. As of April 2014, Oregon is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

Pennsylvania

Arizona

With vacant seats counting towards the party that previously held the seat, the Pennsylvania Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of four seats, which amounts to 16 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, when the 25 odd-numbered districts were up for election, a total of three districts were competitive, with a margin of victory of 5 percent or less.

Five incumbent state senators are not running for re-election in 2014. Of the 20 incumbents seeking re-election, four will face primary competition.

The Pennsylvania House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of 18 seats, which amounts to 8.9 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 17 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were seven districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another 10 districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

Nineteen incumbent state representatives are not running for re-election in 2014. Of the 184 incumbents seeking re-election, 47 will face primary competition.

Although Pennsylvania has long been considered a two-party state, some media outlets believe that 2014 could see the state start down the path towards one-party domination. While the Tea Party wave of support helped Republicans claim the governor's mansion and a majority in the house in 2010, 2012 saw the Democrats win their sixth straight presidential election dating back to 1988, the three statewide "row offices" (attorney general, auditor general and treasurer) for the first time ever and a decisive victory for U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr.. Republicans control the senate by a meager three votes, making this a chamber with a high probability to flip control to the Democrats. A potential lose of the governorship and the senate would reduce Republicans to minority status within Pennsylvania politics.[2]

As of April 2014, Pennsylvania is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

Washington

Arizona

With vacant seats counting towards the party that previously held the seat, the Washington Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of one seat, which amounts to 4 percent of seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, when 24 districts were up for election, a total of four districts were competitive or mildly competitive. One of those districts, District 41, is up for election again in 2014. That district had a margin of victory of 8 percent in 2012. As of April 2014, Washington is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

Note: The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is May 17, 2014.

West Virginia

Arizona

The West Virginia House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican that amounts to 8 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 27 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were 18 districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another nine districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

Eight incumbent state representatives are not running for re-election in 2014. Of the 92 who are seeking re-election, 32 will face primary competition. As of April 2014, West Virginia is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

Wisconsin

Arizona

The Wisconsin Senate has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of three seats, which amounts to 17.7 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, when the 16 even-numbered districts were up for election, a total of two districts were competitive or mildly competitive. District 18 had a margin of victory of 0.7 percent in the 2012 elections. District 30 had a margin of victory of 9 percent. As of April 2014, Wisconsin is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

Note: The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is June 2, 2014.

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dubin, M. J. (2007). "Party Affiliations in the State Legislatures: A Year by Year Summary, 1796-2006. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc."
  2. pennlive.com, "What's at stake for Pa's Dems and Repubs in 2014? Not much - just everything: G. Terry Madonna and Michael L. Young," January 15, 2014