Above: Michigan’s governor/secretary of state/attorney general will have “trifecta” control of the Michigan legislature for the first time in 40 years after a citizens initiative created an independent redistricting commission to create competitive fair districts.
Despite Democratic gains in 2018 and 2020, turning Arizona into a “purple state,” The so-called Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission earlier this year adopted district lines in legislative and congressional districts long sought by Republicans since the 2010 redistricting to give them an advantage in this year’s election (and possibly for the next decade). The ADP Filed a Complaint with the AG, Urging an Investigation of IRC Republican Gerrymandering, which went nowhere with our partisan hack Attorney General “Nunchucks.”
As a result of that Republican gerrymandering by the so-called Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, it appears Republicans will once again maintain their control over the Arizona legislature, as they have since the election of 1966, the first election using the current 30 district format. They may also pick up two previously competitive congressional districts, currently represented by Democratic members of Congress.
So “mission accomplished” for Republican gerrymandering of Arizona, manipulating the so-called Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. There needs to be major reforms to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission before the next redistricting in 2031. Since the commission was enacted by a citizens initiative, it needs to be reformed by a citizens initiative. The time to jump on this is now, don’t wait until 2030.
Elsewhere in the country, Democrats gained full control of at least 2 state legislatures, 4 state governments in midterms:
Democrats flipped Republican-led state legislatures in Minnesota and Michigan in [last] Tuesday’s elections and maintained control of the state House and Senate in several states targeted by Republicans. Because Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) also won re-election Tuesday, Democrats now have full control over the governments in Michigan for the first time since 1982, and in Minnesota after a six-year break.
Democratic pickups in the Maryland and Massachusetts gubernatorial races mean the party also gained trifectas — control of the governorship and both houses of the state legislature — in those two states as well. Democrats also appear to have flipped the Pennsylvania House and deprived Republicans of supermajorities in Wisconsin and North Carolina. Republicans appear to have fallen short in their campaigns to end Democratic control of the Colorado and Nevada legislatures, but ended the Democratic supermajority in Oregon’s Senate.
“Republicans had everything in their favor: record fundraising and a midterm political environment under a Democratic president, and they have little to show for it,” Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee president Jessica Post said Wednesday. “This election should have been a landslide for Republicans — instead Democrats fended off the so-called ‘red wave’ in the states and gained critical ground for the decade ahead.“
Republicans still control a majority of legislatures in the 50 states, and have since flipping 21 chambers in the 2010 Democratic shellacking. Heading in to the 2022 midterms, The New York Times reports, Republicans controlled both legislative houses in 30 states while Democrats held both chambers in 17.
“Last night was a surprisingly good showing for Democrats in statehouses, especially since their gains combat the notion that the president’s party always loses ground during midterms,” said Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. But “Republicans continue to absolutely dominate the 50-state landscape, as they have since 2010” [with the help of gerrymandering.]
U.S. News & World Report labeled it The Blue Surge and a Red Fizzle in State Legislatures (excerpt):
In the 2022 cycle, the number of competitive chambers fell to 15, distributed roughly equally between the parties. With Democrats facing the historical pattern of the president’s party experiencing major electoral headwinds, there was little sign that the Democrats would flip a handful of chambers on election night.
Yet the predicted red wave fizzled, not just in congressional races but also in the battle for the legislatures.
In addition to the three apparent chamber flips and the potential seizures of chambers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, the Democrats appear to have kept control in four of their most vulnerable chambers: the Colorado Senate, the Maine House and Senate, and the Minnesota House.
The Democrats also appear to have kept Republicans from a supermajority in at least one chamber in North Carolina and Wisconsin, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. That will strengthen the hand of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and newly reelected Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, both Democrats.
The main question marks involve chambers where control has not yet been determined. Two particularly crucial legislative battlegrounds are western states that are key presidential states and which still have ballots to count.
In Arizona, it’s possible that Democrats could flip one or both legislative chambers. Both are currently controlled by the GOP, but only narrowly.
The situation is the opposite in Nevada, where the Democrats control both the Senate and the Assembly but are facing stiff competition from Republicans in multiple statewide and legislative contests.
Republicans may also gain some seats in Oregon’s Senate, which had been rated Lean Democratic.
The last chamber to be decided will almost certainly be Alaska’s House, where an unusual coalition between Democrats and pragmatic Republicans has run the chamber in recent years. It’s unclear whether the bipartisan arrangement can survive into a new legislative session.