NEW YORK – The GOP “wave” Tuesday was not limited to Congress alone.
“This was a wave election victory for Republicans in state legislatures across the country, leaving Democrats at their lowest point in state legislatures in nearly a century,” Morgan Cullen, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Colorado, told WND.
“Even though the GOP was already at a high-water point in state legislative control, last night was a big night for Republicans in that the 2014 midterm election saw the GOP make important additional gains in legislative control.”
Voters Tuesday were deciding 6,049 state legislative seats in 46 states, nearly 82 percent of all seats.
State legislatures typically are the place where both Republicans and Democrats groom future candidates to run for governor, as well as for Congress.
Cullen noted Republicans have gained a net total of 332 seats in state legislatures nationwide out of the 649 seats up for election, with some outstanding races still too close to call.
Moreover, the GOP added majority control of 10 state legislative chambers, including the Colorado Senate, the Maine Senate, the Maine House, the Nevada Assembly, the Nevada Senate, the New Hampshire House, the New York Senate, the New Mexico House, the Washington Senate and the West Virginia House. The West Virginia Senate is now deadlocked and two chambers still undecided are the Colorado House and the Washington House.
In addition, Democrats lost their super-majorities in the California Senate, the Vermont House and the Maryland House of Delegates.
Republicans now control 67 state chambers while the Democrats control 28. Prior to Tuesday, Republicans had a 57-41 advantage.
Republicans have complete state control – both chambers and the governor’s mansion – in 23 states, compared to six states for the Democrats.
“This was a big night for Republicans,” Cullen said. “If you had asked me before the election, I would have told you mid-term elections disfavor the party in the White House; and looking into my crystal ball I would have told you the Republicans were poised to pick up a few chambers here and there. But I would have said it was going to be a ripple, when it was a wave.”
Cullen said the Republican gains in the 2014 midterm elections were more significant than in 2010.
“To put last night in context, the Republicans had an even bigger night in the last mid-term elections in 2010, when they picked up over 700 seats in state legislatures nationwide and control in 22 chambers,” she said.
“But you have to put this into perspective and realize the Republicans had lost the three previous legislative election cycles before 2010 and the GOP was at a low-water mark going into the 2010 mid-term elections. The gains Republicans made in this 2014 mid-term election are even more impressive when you consider the GOP topped the high-water mark set in 2010.”