Average margin of victory in state legislative races was 27.7 percentage points in 2022

On November 8, 2022, 88 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers held regularly-scheduled elections for 6,278 seats. Across those races, the average margin of victory was 27.7 percentage points. This was the highest even-year average margin of victory of the last three even-year elections. The average state legislative margin of victory in 2020 was 27.0 percentage points, and in 2018 it was 25.8 percentage points.

Democrats gained control of four chambers in the 2022 elections: the Michigan House and Senate, Minnesota Senate, and Pennsylvania House. The average margin of victory in each of these chambers was lower than the national average:

  • Michigan House: 26.9
  • Michigan Senate: 25.2
  • Minnesota Senate: 26.7
  • Pennsylvania House: 27.6

Fewer major-party candidates won by margins of 10 percentage points or less, as well. In 2022, 875 candidates (404 Democratic and 471 Republican) won seats by 10 percentage points or less. In 2020, 928 elections (444 Democratic and 484 Republican) were decided by that same margin, and that figure was 1,078 seats (505 Democratic and 573 Republican) in 2018. The percentage of seats up won by these margins was 13.9% in 2022, 15.8% in 2020, and 17.8% in 2018.

Sixty-five elections (1.04%) were decided by 0.5 percentage points or less in 2022, compared to 56 (0.95%) in 2020 and 88 (1.45%) in 2018.

The only tie race to take place in those three years occurred in 2022. In New Hampshire House of Representatives District Strafford 8, both Rep. Chuck Grassie (D) and David Walker (R) received 970 votes each. Both candidates are running in a redo special election on February 21.