7 states where minority party candidates outnumber the majority in state legislative elections

Welcome to the Friday, September 23, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Minority party in seven states is contesting more state legislative seats than majority party
  2. West Virginia voters to consider prohibiting state supreme court involvement in impeachment proceedings
  3. Catch up quick with the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

Minority party in seven states is contesting more state legislative seats than majority party

Forty-six states are holding state legislative elections this year, with 6,278 seats on the ballot.

In most states, the party that controls both legislative chambers is contesting more seats in November than the minority, or out-of-power, party.

Not so in Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Maine, and Washington.

Five states under Democratic control have more Republican candidates running in general elections. Two states under Republican control have more Democratic candidates.

To contest a seat means a candidate from a given party is running and could potentially win.

Overall, Democrats are contesting more seats than Republicans in 14 states. And Republicans are contesting more seats than Democrats in 32.

Nationwide, Democrats are contesting 4,687 seats, 75% of all seats up for election. Republicans are contesting 5,209, or 83% of seats.

In the chart below, if each party fielded a candidate in every race, that state would appear in the top right-hand corner of the visual. You can view state names and data using our interactive visual here.

The most balanced states—where both major parties are contesting almost every seat—are Colorado and Michigan.

The most lopsided states—those where one party is contesting far more seats than the other—are Massachusetts and Wyoming.

Both major parties are contesting at least 50% of seats up for election in 38 states. 

Democrats are contesting less than half of the seats up for election in seven states—Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming—and Republicans are contesting less than half of the seats up for election in Massachusetts.

Democrats are contesting every seat up for election in one state: Michigan. Republicans are contesting every seat in three states: Idaho, Nevada, and South Dakota.

Keep reading 

West Virginia voters to consider prohibiting state supreme court involvement in impeachment proceedings

Today is the 19th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring West Virginia, the Mountain State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota

On the ballot in West Virginia

At the federal level, West Virginians will decide races in the state’s two U.S. House districts.

At the state level, 17 of the state’s 34 Senate seats and all 100 House seats are on the ballot.

Redistricting highlights

West Virginia lost one U.S. House district following the 2020 census, dropping from three to two.

The state also remade its state House maps. Before 2020, the state had 100 seats in 67 districts, with a mixture of single- and multi-member districts. During redistricting, the state created 100 single-member districts.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map tool allows you to compare each district. Here’s an example of what West Virginia’s congressional map looked like before and after redistricting:

Visit our West Virginia redistricting page to interact with our congressional and state legislative map comparison tools.

Partisan balance

  • West Virginia’s U.S. Senate delegation is split between Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R).
  • All three of West Virginia’s current U.S. Representatives are Republicans.
  • West Virginia has had a Republican governor since Gov. Jim Justice, originally elected as a Democrat in 2016, switched parties to become a Republican in 2017.
  • Republicans hold a 23-11 majority in the Senate and a 78-22 majority in the House.
  • With Republicans controlling the governorship and both legislative chambers, West Virginia is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.
  • West Virginia’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Republicans, making the state one of the nation’s 23 with a Republican triplex among those offices.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 33 state legislative seats in West Virginia, or 28% of those up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either major party runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running for 85 seats. Republicans will likely win the 32 seats (27% of those up for election) where no Democrats are running.

Republicans are running for 116 seats. Democrats will likely win the one seat (1%) where no Republicans are running.

Key races

  • House District 56: Incumbents Kayla Young (D) and Andrew Anderson (R) are running against each other. Both candidates currently represent the multi-member 36th District. According to CNalysis, in 2020, former President Donald Trump (R) would have received 54% of the vote in the new 56th District to President Joe Biden’s (D) 44%.
  • Senate District 7: Incumbent Ron Stollings (D) faces Mike Stuart (R). Stollings, first elected in 2006, won the 2018 election with 57% of the vote. The 7th District lines remain similar to their makeup before redistricting. Trump would have received 75% of the vote there in 2020 to Biden’s 23%.
  • Senate District 8: Incumbent Richard Lindsay (D) faces Mark Hunt (R). Lindsay was first elected in 2018, defeating then-incumbent Ed Gaunch (R) 50.3% to 49.7%. The new 8th District overlaps with some, but not all, of the old district. Trump would have received 61% of the vote in the new district to Biden’s 38%.

Ballot measures

West Virginia voters will decide four statewide measures on Nov. 8:

  • The No Court Authority Over Impeachment Amendment would prohibit state courts from intervening in impeachment proceedings and from reviewing any final judgments made. The amendment was introduced after four of the five members of the state supreme court were impeached in 2018 (the fifth resigned). The court, composed of temporary justices, blocked the Senate from holding impeachment trials of the impeached justices.

Thirty-three measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2018. Fourteen were approved and nine were defeated.


  • Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close and 7:30 p.m. local time.
  • West Virginia requires voters to present a valid form of identification while voting. Click here for more information from the secretary of state.
  • Early voting begins on Oct. 26 and ends on Nov. 5.
  • Absentee/mail-in voting is only available to voters who meet certain criteria. Complete ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than Nov. 14.
  • The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 18. Voters can register online, in person, or by mail. West Virginia does not allow for same-day voter registration.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!

Keep reading 

Catch up quick with the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

On the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast, host Victoria Rose talked with our experts about early voting, which kicked off in earnest today, Sept. 23, in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

We also dug into our 2022 Election Help Desk, a one-stop shop for voters looking for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the upcoming elections. The Help Desk has state-specific information on topics like:

Use the link below to listen to our most recent episodes and learn how to subscribe so you never miss an update!

Keep reading