Democrats defending seven vulnerable trifectas this year, Republicans defending six

Thirteen state government trifectas are vulnerable in 2022, according to Ballotpedia’s annual trifecta vulnerability ratings. Democrats are defending seven vulnerable trifectas and Republicans are defending six.

The Democratic trifectas in Delaware and Washington are highly vulnerable. Neither of those two states are holding gubernatorial elections in 2022 but in both states, Democrats have a five-seat or less advantage in the state Senate. Democratic trifectas in Colorado, Maine, and Nevada are moderately vulnerable. Two Democratic trifectas—Illinois and Oregon—are considered somewhat vulnerable.

Arizona is the only highly vulnerable Republican trifecta this year. The governor’s race is currently rated as a Toss-up, and Republicans have a one seat majority in both the state House and Senate. Three Republican trifectas in Georgia, New Hampshire, and Texas are classified as moderately vulnerable. The Republican trifectas in Florida and Iowa are somewhat vulnerable.

Ballotpedia also assessed the chances of new trifectas forming in states that are currently under divided government. According to our methodology, states that qualified as a possible Democratic trifecta pickup are Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Carolina, while Republicans have pickup chances in Alaska and Kansas. In Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, both parties have the opportunity to establish a state government trifecta.

A state government trifecta occurs when one party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. There are currently 23 Republican trifectas and 14 Democratic trifectas. The remaining 13 states have divided governments.

Thirty-six states are holding gubernatorial elections this year and 88 of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly-scheduled elections.

Ballotpedia calculates the chances of trifectas breaking and forming by evaluating each trifecta component individually and assessing the chances of them changing control. We base our evaluations of gubernatorial races on ratings from The Cook Political ReportInside Elections, and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball. We assess state legislative chambers according to the absolute number of seats up for election and the proportion of seats that would need to flip for partisan control to change, evaluating both chambers in a state’s legislature individually.

The 2020 elections resulted in Republicans gaining two trifectas—in Montana and New Hampshire—both of which had divided government at the time of the election. In 2021, Republicans in Virginia broke what had been a Democratic trifecta by winning the governorship and control of the House of Delegates. Between 2010 and 2021, 73 state government trifectas were broken or gained.

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