Welcome to the Wednesday, November 2, Brew.
By: David Luchs
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- 28 state legislative chambers we’ll be watching next week
- New York voters to decide several toss-up congressional elections
- President Joe Biden’s approval rating rises to 44% in October, highest since 2021
28 state legislative chambers we’ll be watching next week
There will be regularly-scheduled elections this year to select representatives for 88 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers. Ballotpedia has identified 28 of those chambers in 19 states as battlegrounds. The individual elections for these chambers could affect partisan control, create supermajorities, or end them.
Republicans control 19 of the 28 battleground chambers. Democrats control eight. The final chamber, the Alaska House of Representatives, has a numerical Republican majority, but a multiparty coalition runs the chamber.
In nine states—Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania—both state legislative chambers are battlegrounds. Maine and Nevada have Democratic legislatures, while Minnesota is one of three states (alongside Alaska and Virginia) where partisan control of the legislature is split.
This year’s battlegrounds list includes five chambers where the majority controls just 51% of seats—the Maine House of Representatives, Michigan House of Representatives, Minnesota Senate, Minnesota House of Representatives, and New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Two of this year’s battleground chambers—the Nevada Assembly and Wisconsin Assembly—have not been battleground chambers at any point in the past decade.
Forty-two of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers changed partisan control at least once between 2010 and 2021. Accounting for chambers that changed hands multiple times, there were 66 chamber flips during that time period. Forty-four of those flips left Republicans in control after the election, while 20 left Democrats in control and two left control of the chamber split.
The longest-standing majority at stake in a battleground chamber this year is Republican’s three-seat majority in the Arizona House of Representatives. A Democratic win would be the party’s first time controlling the Arizona House since 1966. The shortest-standing majorities at stake are the Republican majorities in the New Hampshire House and Senate, which Republicans took control of in 2020.
The New Hampshire House and Senate were the only two state legislative chambers where partisan control changed in 2020. This was the fewest chamber flips in any even-numbered year since 1928. That year, both chambers were on our list of battleground chambers.
In 2018, the last midterm election year, Ballotpedia identified 22 chambers as battlegrounds. That year, Democrats won control of six battleground chambers from Republicans, and the Alaska House moved from a Democratic-led minority coalition to a multi-partisan minority coalition.
And if you’re interested in more insight and analysis on this year’s state legislative elections, be sure to check out our latest edition of the On the Ballot podcast. Ballotpedia staffers Victoria Rose and Doug Kronaizl sat down with Chaz Nuttycombe of CNAlysis to talk all things state legislatures.
New York voters to decide several toss-up congressional elections
Today is the 47th day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring New York, the Empire 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, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Ohio
Week Six: South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee
Week Seven: Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, Alabama, Utah
Week Eight: Mississippi, Maryland, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Maine
Week Nine: Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida
Week Ten: Missouri, Louisiana
On the ballot in New York
New York voters will decide one U.S. Senate race and 26 U.S. House races. Seven elections for the U.S. House will be open races where no incumbent is running.
Four state executive positions will be on the ballot: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and comptroller.
All 63 seats of the New York State Senate and all 150 seats of the New York State Assembly are up for election this year. Twenty-five state legislative races are open.
New York lost one congressional seat after the 2020 census, going from 27 in 2020 to 26 this year.
Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in New York:
To use our tool to view New York’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our New York redistricting page.
New York’s current U.S. congressional delegation is made up of two Democratic senators, 19 Democratic U.S. House members, and 8 Republican U.S. House members.
Democrats hold majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Democrats have a 42-20 majority in the New York Senate and a 106-42 majority in the New York Assembly.
Governor Kathy Hochul is a Democrat, meaning New York has a Democratic trifecta. New York has had a Democratic trifecta since 2019, when Democrats gained control of the state Senate.
New York has a Democratic triplex, meaning the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats.
Seats contested by only one major party
In 2022, 74 state legislative seats in New York, or 35% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, that party is all but guaranteed to win the seat.
Democrats are running in 90% of all state legislative races. Twenty-two state legislative seats (10% of all state legislative seats) do not have a Democratic candidate, meaning a Republican is likely to win.
Republicans are running in 76% of all state legislative races. Fifty-two seats (24% of all state legislative seats) do not have a Republican candidate, meaning a Democrat is likely to win.
- Governor: Incumbent Kathy Hochul (D) and Lee Zeldin (R) are running. Hochul succeeded to the office after Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned last year. Cuomo was re-elected 60% to 36% in 2018.
- 18th Congressional District: Incumbent Pat Ryan (D) and Colin Schmitt (R) are running. Ryan took office after winning a special election for the 19th district in August, defeating Marc Molinaro (R) 51% to 49%.
- 19th Congressional District: Josh Riley (D) and Marc Molinaro (R) are running. Molinaro lost the August special election in this district to Pat Ryan 51% to 49%.
- 22nd Congressional District: Francis Conole (D) and Brandon Williams (R) are running. Incumbent Claudia Tenney (R), who represented this district before redistricting, is running in New York’s 24th instead.
- 3rd Congressional District: Robert Zimmerman (D) and George Devolder-Santos (R) are running. Incumbent Tom Suozzi (D) ran for governor instead of seeking re-election.
New York voters will decide one statewide measure on Nov. 8.
- Proposal 1 would issue $4.2 billion in general obligation bonds for projects related to the environment, natural resources, water infrastructure, and climate change mitigation.
Fifty-five ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2021. Thirty-nine ballot measures were approved, and 16 ballot measures were defeated.
- On Election Day, polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. An individual who is in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote.
- New York does not require voters to present identification while voting. However, if a voter does not provide valid identification at the time of registration, he or she must show identification at the polling place when voting for the first time.
- Early voting begins on Oct. 29 and ends on Nov. 6.
- The voter registration deadline was Oct. 14.
- Voters can be eligible to vote absentee for the following reasons: absence from the county (or, if a resident of New York City, the city) on Election Day, temporary or permanent illness or disability (this includes concern about contracting the coronavirus), acting as the primary caregiver for an ill or disabled person, being in patient care at a Veterans Administration hospital, being incarcerated for offenses other than felonies or awaiting grand jury action.
- An absentee ballot request must be received by the county board of elections by mail by Oct. 24 or can be submitted in person by the day before Election Day. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day if returned by mail or returned by the close of polls if returned in person.
Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!
President Joe Biden’s approval rating rises to 44% in October, highest since 2021
Recent approval polling averages show President Joe Biden (D) at 44% approval, the highest rating he’s received since 2021. Fifty-four percent of voters disapprove of his performance.
Biden last had a 44% approval rating on December 22, 2021. The lowest approval rating he’s received is 38% on July 27, 2022. The highest approval rating Biden has received is 55% on May 26, 2021.
Congress was at 26% approval and 63% disapproval at the end of October. The highest approval rating Congress has received during Biden’s term is 36% on July 16, 2021, and the lowest approval rating it has received is 14% on January 26, 2022.
At the end of October 2018, during the Trump administration, presidential approval was also at 44%, and congressional approval was seven points lower at 19%.
Ballotpedia’s polling index takes the average of polls conducted over the last thirty days to calculate presidential and congressional approval ratings. We average the results and show all polling results side-by-side because we believe that paints a clearer picture of public opinion than any individual poll can provide. The data is updated daily as new polling results are published.