Fox News: Dems have yet to pick up a single state legislative chamber while GOP flips 2

Fox News
By Julia Musto
November 6, 2020

Democrats’ effort to flip state legislative chambers this year was met with major — and largely successful, GOP resistance.

While the progressive party has yet to flip a single chamber, Republicans have picked up majorities in both chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature.

While the Fox News Decision Desk confirmed 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had clinched New Hampshire, residents of the Granite State took a different tack at the state level — reelecting conservative Gov. Chris Sununu and ousting Democratic lawmakers.

Early totals in Alaska — which supports President Trump — have Republicans leading by sizeable margins, though the state’s ballot count is expected to be slow.

The Last Frontier’s Division of Elections announced Wednesday that it plans to begin counting more than 114,000 absentee ballots and early in-person votes cast after Oct. 29 a week after Election Day.

The stability in legislative chambers this year is a historical anomaly.

The last time fewer than five legislative chambers slipped was in 1946 and, in recent years, 10 or more chambers have flipped in any given election cycle, according to The Hill.

Of the 98 chambers, Republicans will control at least 59 next year, according to reporting from The Wall Street Journal.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the nation, was pleasantly surprised by the results.

In a statement, Republican State Leadership Committee Deputy Executive Director David Abrams noted that Democrats have spent millions to flip state chambers. “So far, they don’t have a damn thing to show for it,” he added.

Committee spokeswoman Lenze Morris told Fox News that it was “kind of jaw-dropping” Republicans were able to hold on to their seats.

“I think that a lot of us thought given the political climate, it would have been different,” she admitted. Morris noted that Democrats had flipped eight state legislative chambers during the 2018 midterm elections.

The blue party also picked up two in Virginia last year. Democrats had predicted they would take control of at least seven more chambers, she said, and “there’s no way in hell they’re doing that.”

While the GOP group’s counterpart, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, spent more than $50 million, Republicans raised and spent $70 million.

“Our Republicans run data-driven campaigns,” Morris said. “They’re not feeling-driven. Democrats try to operate off of feelings.”

GOP candidates tried to stay focused on local issues, she said, resisting a Democratic push to link the party to a president with high disapproval ratings and turn the election into “some kind of Trump referendum.”

“We’re talking about health care. We’re talking about pre-existing conditions. We’re talking about things that matter to them most,” Morris concluded.

Yet, with hundreds of races across the country still not called, Democrats see a window of opportunity, and Republicans see vulnerability in states such as Minnesota and Arizona.

Four key battleground states could aid Democrats in their redistricting fights — a process that begins in 2021. But not as much as gains in North Carolina or Texas would.

The Journal noted that Democrats blamed polling errors and GOP-drawn district lines for their losses.

“We forced Republicans to spend millions on defense on the maps that they drew — and they merely maintained their status quo. Legislative Republicans won because of a surge of Trump voters. It’s easy to win on rigged maps,” Democratic legislative campaign spokeswoman Christina Polizzi told Fox News. “We are far better positioned heading into redistricting than we were 10 years ago and we’ve changed the face of state legislatures along the way. This fight is far from over.”