WTAS: RSLC Dashes Hopes of Democrat Control of State Legislatures

“‘A decade of power’: Statehouse wins position GOP to dominate redistricting”

“Democrats fell far short of their goals and failed to build upon their 2018 successes to capture state chambers they had been targeting for years.”


More headlines…

“Republicans Hold Off Democratic Bid to Flip State Legislatures”

The Wall Street Journal

“Democrats’ ‘Blue Wave’ Crashed in Statehouses Across the Country”

The New York Times

“Republicans bolstered as Democrats hopes fall short in state legislative races”

Washington Post

“Republicans retain power in states despite Democratic push”

Associated Press

“GOP holds line in state legislatures, dealing blow to Democrats”

The Hill

“Democrats’ down-ballot misery continues with state legislative battles”
They were hoping to pick up a half-dozen chambers across the nation and may end up with none.

Washington Post

“GOP Will Dominate Redistricting Battles With Victories in Texas”

Bloomberg Government

“Republicans Hold Their Edge in State-Level Politics”


“Republicans Fend off Democrats in Statehouse Fights”

Pew Trusts

What they are saying…

Politico: “An abysmal showing by Democrats in state legislative races on Tuesday not only denied them victories in Sun Belt and Rust Belt states that would have positioned them to advance their policy agenda — it also put the party at a disadvantage ahead of the redistricting that will determine the balance of power for the next decade.” (Politico, 11/4/20)

  • “By Wednesday night, Democrats had not flipped a single statehouse chamber in its favor. And it remained completely blocked from the map-making process in several key states”
  • “Forward Majority…spent more than $32 million in an effort to flip state legislative chambers in Florida, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina…instead, Democrats saw a loss of House seats in Florida.”
  • “Democrats fell far short of their goals and failed to build upon their 2018 successes to capture state chambers they had been targeting for years.”
  • “But it is the victories they won in state legislatures could be the most consequential of all, giving the GOP outsize influence over the congressional and legislative redistricting process that begins early next year.”

The Wall Street Journal: “Democrats have come up short in their bid to flip control of several state legislative chambers this year and gain power in a coming round of redistricting.” (The Wall Street Journal, 11/5/20)

  • “Democrats failed in their quest to seize nine state House seats and flip the [Texas] chamber for the first time in 18 years.”

New York Times: “Democrats had hoped for a “Blue Wave” to sweep statehouses that Republicans had controlled for years, running expensive ad campaigns and extensive get-out-the-vote efforts. But as the results came in, it became increasingly clear that they had failed on multiple fronts.” (New York Times, 11/4/20)

  • “Democrats failed to take control of the Texas House from Republicans…They also lost the battle for North Carolina’s House and Senate, chambers they had set their sights on after years of Republican control.”

The Washington Post: “Republicans fended off an effort by Democrats to revamp the balance of power in state legislatures, crushing expectations in Tuesday’s election by easily maintaining state House majorities ahead of the drawing of new congressional districts next year.” (The Washington Post, 11/4/20)

Associated Press: “After a costly and intense political battle for control of state capitols…Republicans will again control significantly more states than Democrats, giving the GOP greater power over the once-a-decade task of redrawing congressional and legislative districts based on census results as well as a continued platform to push for conservative economic and social policies.” (Associated Press, 11/4/20)

  • “Democrats, who began the campaign cycle with a “flip everything” motto, acknowledged their disappointment while pinning the blame partly on their failures of a decade ago.”
  • “But Democrats failed Tuesday in several of their highly targeted states, including the Texas House, the North Carolina House and Senate, and the Florida House.”

The Hill: “The DLCC raised and spent more than $50 million…groups backed by major donors spent heavily in places like Texas and North Carolina for Democratic candidates, investments that did not pay off.” (The Hill, 11/4/20)

  • “Democratic hopes of claiming control of state legislative chambers across the nation crashed into an immovable Republican wall in key states on Tuesday, a substantial blow to the party’s chances of wielding more influence in the decennial redistricting process ahead.”

The Washington Post: “Instead, it’s possible Democrats end up with no new chambers, and it will be Republicans who leave 2020 with wins. Republicans picked up the New Hampshire House and Senate, giving them total control over governing in that state because they also kept the governor’s mansion. Republicans won another trifecta, as it is called when one party holds the state legislature and governorship, after their victory in the Montana’s governor race.” (Washington Post, 11/5/2020)

  • “You have to go back to the 1940s to find an election when so few chambers flipped parties, said Tim Storey, the executive director of the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.”
  • “The odds were in Democrats’ favor that they could do better, and not just because history suggests more legislative chambers were going to switch parties this November. And yet they were unable to flip the state House in Texas — perhaps their No. 1 target — or either chamber in North Carolina. They did not manage to flip the Minnesota state Senate despite that being one of their easiest challenges since they were only two seats away. Nor the Iowa state House.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Democrats went into Tuesday’s election confident they would not only pick up seats in the Georgia House, but flip control of the chamber for the first time since 2005. That didn’t come close to happening, in part because of a huge gulf between what Democrats and Republicans had to spend to win legislative races.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/4/20)

  • As votes were being counted Wednesday, it was clear Republicans put a stop to momentum that Democrats built in 2018 when they flipped more than a dozen legislative seats.
  • They also lost House Minority Leader Bob Trammell of Luthersville, who was targeted by a Washington-based political action committee that poured about $1 million into the race to defeat him.
  • Republicans say a combination of the right messaging and well-financed campaigns helped them hold on to their margins.

Pew Trusts: “Democrats failed to break the GOP’s grip on state legislatures Tuesday, bolstering conservative policy priorities and giving Republicans increased power leading into the crucial redistricting process in 2021. It was a disappointing result for Democrats who were hoping for a “blue wave” election that would reach down to statehouses and put them in a better position for progressive legislation and new electoral maps.” (Pew Trusts 11/5/2020)

  • “This year, unlike all the others, with so much noise and money going into this election, and yet the results are status quo, no change,” she said. “It’s jaw-dropping.”
  • “In a blog post, Underhill and Tim Storey, NCSL’s executive director, reported that this year’s elections likely will bring the fewest party control changes since 1944, when only four chambers changed hands.”

Bloomberg Government: “Texas Republicans won the largest redistricting prize of the election, fending off Democrats to retain control of the state House and maintain sole power to redraw Texas congressional districts.” (Bloomberg Government, 11/4/20)

Governing: “Republicans have dominated state politics for the past decade, holding a majority of governors and legislative chambers. In the first election of this decade, their success story continues.” (Governing, 11/3/2020)

  • “Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello lost his seat in an upset against Republican Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung. Mattiello is a conservative Democrat who has often clashed with more progressive Democrats. During the September primary, progressives unseated four incumbent Democrats, including House Majority Leader John DeSimone.”
  • “After winning a dozen seats in the Texas House in 2018, they hoped to pick up the nine additional seats they needed for control. Two years ago, Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke carried nine state House districts held by Republicans, although he fell short statewide.”

CBS News: “Republicans were able to claim victory in heavily targeted chambers by Democrats in Florida, North Carolina and Texas – all states that are expected to add congressional seats. (CBS News, 11/2/2020)

  • While Democrats could still flip state chambers in Arizona, Republicans have countered any losses by flipping the New Hampshire state legislature.

Kellyanne Conway on Fox & Friends: “There was no blue wave. There was no early night…In fact, the democrat down-ballot disasters carried all the way to state legislatures as well. The Democrats did not flip a single state legislature. In fact, Republicans flipped the house and senate in a place like New Hampshire where they have a Republican governor.” (Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/5/2020)

National Journal Hotline’s Josh Kraushaar:Totally missed this last night: Democrats didn’t pick up a single House seat in Texas, despite all the hype. Stunning.” (@HotlineJosh via Twitter, 11/4/20)