Welcome to the Monday, Feb. 1, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Support Ballotpedia: Send an election-themed Valentine today!
- 19 states saw at least one party with a net gain of seats in both state legislative chambers
- The most expensive ballot measure in recent Massachusetts history
Support Ballotpedia: Send an election-themed Valentine today!
Ah, February. We made it through the first month of 2021. The new month arrives bringing new elections, new candidate filings, and Valentine’s day! February 14th is just two weeks away. How will you celebrate this year?
As much as we like flowers, and candy, earning the trust of millions of voters is what really melts our hearts. And we know that you share our love of fair and accurate political information!
So here’s an idea for you or the election-lover in your life: make a donation to Ballotpedia this week, and you’ll be able to choose an election-themed Valentine that we will mail out with a special Ballotpedia Valentine’s Day pin.
It’s a win-win for you: You get to help millions of Americans get the information that they need… and you get to delight your politics-loving-sweetheart (or yourself!) with a Valentine delivered to the doorstep.
19 states saw at least one party with a net gain of seats in both state legislative chambers
We like to keep track of all sorts of partisan breakdowns at Ballotpedia. One example is our monthly count of the partisan breakdown in all 99 state legislative chambers, which came out on Friday. Along those lines, we also took a look at the states where at least one part saw a net gain of seats in both chambers after last year’s Nov. 3 elections. Let’s dive into the details.
There were 19 states where either Democrats, Republicans, or both had a net gain of seats in both the state House and Senate following the Nov. 3 elections.
Democrats had a net gain in both the chambers of four states. Their largest gain was in Connecticut, where Democrats picked up six seats in the state House and two in the state Senate. The smallest gains for Democrats were in Massachusetts and Missouri, with a net gain of three seats across both chambers in each state.
Republicans had a net gain in both chambers of 13 states. Their largest gain was in New Hampshire, where Republicans picked up 57 seats in the state House and four in the state Senate.
Aside from Alaska, where control of the state House had yet to be determined as of Jan. 26, New Hampshire was the only state where control of a legislative chamber changed in the 2020 elections. Both the House and Senate flipped from Democratic to Republican control. The smallest net gains for Republicans were in Missouri and Oregon, with a net gain of one seat in both the House and Senate of each state.
Both Democrats and Republicans had net gains in two states—Missouri and Vermont—due to flipping seats that were either previously held by third-party legislators or winning seats that were vacant at the time of the election.
The map below shows those states where one party had net gains in both state legislative chambers shaded red, blue, or purple to indicate party gains.
Across all chambers that held regular state legislative elections in 2020, Democrats had a net loss of 114 seats, Republicans had a net gain of 175, and third parties had a net loss of 14.
To learn more about these chambers and the number of legislators by party following the 2020 election, keep reading at the link below.
The most expensive ballot measure in recent Massachusetts history
The final Massachusetts ballot measure campaign finance reports are in for 2020. Massachusetts Question 1 was the most expensive measure in the state for at least the last 15 years.
The Right to Repair Coalition (supporting Question 1) and the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data (opposing Question 1) received a combined $51.5 million in contributions during the election cycle. Final campaign finance reports were filed on Jan. 20.
Question 1 amended a 2013 “right to repair law.” The amended question required manufacturers that sell vehicles with telematics systems in Massachusetts to equip them with a standardized system beginning with model year 2022. Vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access the standardized system to retrieve mechanical data and run diagnostics through a mobile-based application. It was approved with a margin of 74.97% to 25.03%.
The Right to Repair Coalition, the sponsor of Question 1, reported $24.9 million in contributions. The top donors to the campaign included the Auto Care Association ($4.6 million) and the Coalition of Automative Repair Equality ($4.2 million).
The Coalition for Safe and Secure Data registered in opposition to Question 1 and reported $26.6 million in contributions. The top donors to the campaign included General Motors ($5.5 million) and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. ($4.5 million).
The top five most expensive measures by total contributions (support and opposition) in Massachusetts since 2006 are:
- $44.3 million for Question 2, Authorization of Additional Charter Schools and Charter School Expansion (2006)
- $37.2 million for Question 1, Nurse-Patient Assignment Limits Initiative (2018)
- $15.8 million for Question 3, Casino Repeal Initiative (2014)
- $10.7 million for Question 2, Expansion of Bottle Deposits Initiative (2014)
- $10.2 million for Question 2, Ranked-Choice Voting Initiative (2020)
In 2020, committees registered to support or oppose all of the 129 statewide measures reported a combined total of $1.2 billion in contributions and $1.02 billion in expenditures. Massachusetts ballot measure campaigns raised the third largest amount in contributions compared to other states with a total of $61.6 million. California campaigns raised the most with $739 million, and Illinois campaigns raised the second most with $121.2 million.