Republicans added to their historic 2014 gains in the nation’s state legislatures with the addition of five state House chambers and two state Senate chambers in last week’s election, while Democratic control was reduced to levels not seen since the Civil War.
Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
“That’s more than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party,” according to NCSL. “They also hold more total seats, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920.”
Next year, the GOP will control both legislative chambers in 32 states – an all-time high, according to NCSL – while Democrats will have total control of just 13 state legislatures.
In 24 of the 32 states with Republican-controlled legislatures, voters have also elected Republican governors. In contrast, Democrats have a “political trifecta” in just six states.
Since 2009, when President Obama took office, his party has lost a total of 919 seats in state legislatures nationwide, according to NCSL data.Since 2009, when President Obama took office, his party has lost a total of 919 seats in state legislatures nationwide, according to NCSL data.
In 2009, Democrats had total control of 27 state legislatures, and held a majority in at least one chamber in eight more states where power was divided. In contrast, Republicans controlled just 14 state legislatures.
During Obama’s first year in office, Democrats held 1,024 of the 1,971 total state Senate seats in the nation, compared to 889 in Republican hands. They also held 3,058 of the total 5,411 state House seats, compared to 2,334 for Republicans. READ MORE