Sixteen seats changed party control and 14 incumbents lost in state legislative general elections

Three of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers held regularly-scheduled elections on Nov. 2: the New Jersey State Senate, New Jersey General Assembly, and Virginia House of Delegates. Elections in these three chambers represented 220 of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats (2.9%).

Final results were recently certified in both states, though recounts recently began in two Virginia House of Delegates elections.

Overall, party control has changed for 16 state legislative seats. Fifteen seats changed from Democratic to Republican control and one seat changed from Republican to Democratic control. Control of nine seats changed in New Jersey. Control of seven seats changed in Virginia. In 2019, 33 seats changed party control. Most of those were outside of New Jersey and Virginia, however, where only 10 seats combined changed party control. The other seats were in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Fourteen incumbents lost in general elections, all Democrats. They were split evenly between New Jersey and Virginia. Two incumbents lost in the New Jersey State Senate and five lost in the New Jersey General Assembly. Seven incumbents lost in the Virginia House of Delegates. In each of the last three odd-year election cycles (2021, 2019, and 2017), exactly fourteen incumbents have lost in the general elections.

At the chamber level, Democrats lost majority control and a net of seven seats in the Virginia House of Delegates. The chamber went from 55-45 Democratic control to 52-48 Republican control. Republicans previously lost their majority in the 2019 elections.

In the New Jersey General Assembly, Democrats lost a net of six seats, reducing their majority from 52-28 to 46-34. In the New Jersey State Senate, Democrats lost a net of one seat, reducing their majority from 25-14 (with one vacancy) to 24-16.

Certified results in the District 85 and 91 elections in the Virginia House showed the winning candidates’ margin of victory within 1% of total votes cast. Democratic candidates in both races requested recounts, which began on Dec. 2.