TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Justin Richards, RSLC Vice President, Political Affairs and Communications
DATE: November 7, 2018
RE: The Republican Realignment in the States
With Republican state legislative majorities protected in every battleground state that President Trump flipped in 2016, the Republican State Leadership Committee’s REDMAP 2020 cycle launches with control in 62 chambers, while Democrats hold only 37.
Show me a Democrat that would be happy looking at a map with blue states only where Hillary Clinton won in 2016. After you add in Republican state legislative majorities in the Minnesota Senate and both chambers in Virginia, you see the new Republican realignment in state legislatures with last night’s results.
With Republicans ending the 2016 cycle at all-time highs, the opportunities were abundant for Democrats to make major gains on par with Republicans’ success in 2010. That cycle, the RSLC’s REDMAP 2010 initiative netted 21 new state legislative majorities and 725 state legislative seats. Many of those chambers hadn’t been Republican since Reconstruction.
Last night, Republicans flipped enough seats to elect a new Republican Speaker in Alaska, flipping control from a Democrat coalition and making Alaska a Republican trifecta with the election of Governor-Elect Dunleavy and Lt. Governor-Elect Kevin Meyer.
Republicans also flipped 92 seats from Democrat to Republican control around the country with some yet to be called.
Republicans grew several majorities in Obama/Trump states including the Iowa Senate, Ohio Senate, and Wisconsin Senate.
Republican Lt. Governors were elected to their first full terms in the key presidential battleground states of Iowa, Ohio, and Florida. Georgia Lt. Governor-Elect Geoff Duncan held a targeted open seat, 52-48%.
In Secretary of State races, Iowa Secretary Paul Pate defeated an Obama-endorsed candidate for a third term. Republicans held the important battleground open seat in Ohio with Secretary-Elect Frank LaRose. Secretary-Elect Steve Gaynor survived a $2 million onslaught from liberal super donors to hold the #2 office in Arizona. Finally, Nevada Secretary Barbara Cegavske won her re-election and will be the only Republican to hold a constitutional office in Nevada.
In West Virginia, conservative Justices Tim Armstead and Evan Jenkins were elected to full terms on the State Supreme Court.
The RSLC’s Future Majority Project (FMP) and Right Women, Right Now (RWRN) initiatives had another successful cycle with the election of over 165 new Republican women and over 20 new diverse Republican elected officials.
RWRN and FMP candidates once again had historical elections and were instrumental in winning Republican majorities in many chambers across the country. In Alaska, the election of a new Republican Speaker of the House will happen because of two successful Right Women, Right Now candidates, Sarah Vance and Sara Rasmussen.
In West Virginia, Caleb Hanna, an 18-year-old African-American Republican, flipped a Democrat-held seat and will be a new member of the Republican majority and the youngest member in the chamber. Kurt Fevella, an ‘18 in ‘18 Race to Watch candidate, flipped a Hawaii state Senate seat for Republicans to have an important voice in the chamber. Daniel Pae, a new Asian-American Republican candidate, flipped a Democrat-held Oklahoma House seat and will be the youngest member in the chamber.
New Lt. Governors had historical elections across the country with Idaho Lt. Governor-Elect Janice McGeachin being the first woman elected to the Lt. Governor’s office in the history of Idaho and Florida Lt. Governor-elect Jeanette Nuñez is the 2nd Latina Lt. Governor ever elected nationwide.
And Young Kim, a previous Future Majority Project supported state legislator, held a heavily targeted California Congressional seat.
Democrats talked louder than ever before about focusing on the states to rebuild their decimated Party. A constellation of new liberal groups spent tens of millions more than ever before but must now recognize they didn’t come close to Republican successes since the RSLC launched REDMAP in 2010.
With Republicans controlling 62 of 99 majorities and every chamber in states President Trump won, Democrats haven’t even caught up to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 electoral college failure.