Tagpartisanship

54.07% of state legislatures are Republican, 44.33% Democratic in August 2022

Image of donkey and elephant to symbolize the Democratic and Republican parties.

At the end of August 2022, 54.07% of all state legislators in the United States are Republicans while 44.33% are Democrats. There are 7,383 state legislative seats in the country.

Republicans control 62 chambers, while Democrats hold 36. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Democrats hold 864 state Senate seats and 2,409 state House seats, gaining one Senate seat and losing two House seats since last month. Republicans hold 1,092 state Senate seats and 2,900 state House seats, losing one Senate seat and four House seats since last month.

Independent or third-party legislators hold 40 seats across 19 different states, including 33 state House seats and seven state Senate seats. There are 69 vacant state House seats and nine vacant state Senate seats across 32 different states.

Compared to August 2021, Democrats have gained one state Senate seat (863 v. 864) and lost 30 state House seats (2,439 v. 2,409). Republicans have gained one state Senate seat (1,091 v. 1,092) and lost 15 state House seats (2,915 v. 2,900). 

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Number of major party candidates on the primary ballot for state legislative offices in 2022

This year, 13,491 major party candidates were on the primary ballot for 6,278 state legislative seats around the country, including 1,300 state senate seats and 4,978 state house seats.

Of the 13,491 major party candidates on the ballot, 6,063, or 44.94%, were Democrats, and 7,428, or 55.06%, were Republicans. 

In state senate races: 

  • There were 2,824 major party candidates on the primary ballot, including 1,254 Democrats, or 44.41% of all candidates who ran, and 1,570 Republicans, or 55.59% of all candidates who ran. 
  • The percentage of major party candidates this year who identified as Democrats was lower than in 2020, when 50.16% of major party candidates did, and in 2018, when 53.11% did.
  • Conversely, the percentage of major party candidates who identified as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020, when 49.84% did, and in 2018, when 46.89% did. 
  • There were 0.96 Democratic candidates on the ballot per state senate seat this year. That’s fewer than the 1.09 Democrats per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 1.2 Democrats per seat who appeared in 2018.
  • There were 1.21 Republican candidates on the ballot per U.S. state senate seat in 2022. That’s more than the 1.08 Republicans per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 1.06 Republicans per seat who appeared in 2018.

In state house races: 

  • There were 10,667 major party candidates on the primary ballot this year, including 4,809 Democrats, or 45.08% of all candidates who ran, and 5,858 Republicans, or 54.92% of all candidates who ran. 
  • The percentage of major party candidates this year who identified as Democrats was lower than in 2020, when 50.41% of major party candidates did, and in 2018, when 52.69% did.
  • Conversely, the percentage of major party candidates who identified as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020, when 49.59% did, and in 2018, when 47.31% did. 
  • There were 0.97 Democratic candidates on the ballot per state house seat this year. That’s fewer than the 1.06 Democrats per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 1.16 Democrats per seat who appeared in 2018.
  • There were 1.18 Republican candidates on the ballot per state house seat in 2022. That’s more than the 1.04 Republicans per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and in 2018.


Number of major party candidates on the primary ballot for state judicial offices in 2022

In 2022, there were 88 state judicial positions up for partisan election in states that select judges using partisan elections. One-hundred sixty major party candidates were on the primary ballot in those races, including 72 Democrats, or 45% of all major party candidates who ran, and 88 Republicans, or 55% of all major party candidates who ran.

The percentage of major party candidates this year who identified as Democrats was lower than in 2020, when 51.27% of major party candidates did, but higher than in 2018, when 38.12% did.

Conversely, the percentage of major party candidates who identified as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020, when 48.73% did, but lower than in 2018, when 61.88% did.

There were 0.82 Democratic candidates on the ballot per state judicial seat this year. That’s fewer than the 1.11 Democrats per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and more than the 0.71 Democrats per seat who appeared in 2018.

There was one Republican candidate on the ballot per state judicial seat in 2022. That’s fewer than the 1.05 Republicans per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 1.15 Republicans per seat who appeared in 2018.



May 2022 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.33% Republicans, 44.39% Democrats

According to Ballotpedia’s May partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators across the United States, 54.33% of all state legislators are Republicans and 44.39% are Democrats.

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. This refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in each chamber. Republicans control 62 chambers, while Democrats hold 36. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Nationally, the state legislatures include 1,961 state senators and 5,368 state representatives. Democrats hold 860 state Senate seats—losing one since April—and 2,417 state House seats, up two from last month. Republicans hold 4,011 of the 7,383 state legislative seats—1,093 state Senate seats (down three since April) and 2,918 state House seats, an increase of one. Independent or third-party legislators hold 41 seats, of which 33 are state House seats and eight are state Senate seats. There are 54 vacant seats.

Compared to May 2021, Democrats have lost seven state Senate seats (867 v 860) and 33 state House seats (2,450 v 2,417). Republicans have gained two state Senate seats (1,091 v 1,093), while the number of state House seats has remained the same.  

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March 2022 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.34% Republicans, 44.39% Democrats

Image of donkey and elephant to symbolize the Democratic and Republican parties.

According to Ballotpedia’s March partisan count of the 7,383 state legislative seats across the United States, 54.34% of all state legislators are Republicans and 44.39% are Democrats. 

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. Republicans control 62 chambers, while Democrats hold 36. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Democrats hold 864 state Senate seats and 2,413 state House seats, gaining three senate seats and four house seats since last month. Republicans hold 1,096 state Senate seats and 2,916 state House seats, retaining the same number of senate seats and losing four house seats since last month.

Independent or third-party legislators hold 41 seats across 18 different states, of which 33 are state House seats and eight state Senate seats. There are 49 vacant state House seats and four vacant state Senate seats across 21 different states.

Compared to March 2021, Democrats have lost five state Senate seats (869 v. 864) and 34 state House seats (2,447 v. 2,413). Republicans have gained seven state Senate seats (1,089 v. 1,096) and lost two state House seats (2,918 v. 2,916).  

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August 2021 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.26% Republicans, 44.72% Democrats

54.26% of all state legislators are Republicans, and 44.72% are Democrats, according to Ballotpedia’s August partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators.

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. This refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in each chamber. Republicans control 61 chambers, while Democrats hold 37. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Nationally, the state legislatures include 1,957 state senators and 5,363 state representatives. Democrats hold 863 state Senate seats and 2,439 state House seats, a loss of four seats in each chamber since the end of July. Republicans hold 4,006 of the 7,383 total state legislative seats—1,091 state Senate seats (up one since July) and 2,915 state House seats (a decrease of five).

Independent or third-party legislators hold 39 seats, of which 32 are state House seats, and seven are state Senate seats. There are 36 vacant seats.

During the month of August, Democrats saw a net decrease of eight seats, and Republicans saw a net decrease of four seats. Compared to August of last year, the state legislatures are 2.06% less Democratic (46.78% to 44.72%) and 2.26% more Republican (52.00% to 54.26%).  

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July 2021 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.30% Republicans, 44.79% Democrats

54.30% of all state legislators are Republicans, and 44.79% are Democrats, according to Ballotpedia’s July partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators.

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. This refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in each chamber. Republicans control 61 chambers, while Democrats hold 37. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Nationally, the state legislatures include 1,957 state senators and 5,363 state representatives. Democrats hold 867 state Senate seats—the same as the last two months—and 2,443 state House seats, a loss of three seats since the end of June. Republicans hold 4,010 of the 7,383 total state legislative seats—1,090 state Senate seats (down two since June) and 2,920 state House seats (an increase of one).

Independent or third-party legislators hold 39 seats, of which 32 are state House seats, and seven are state Senate seats. There are 24 vacant seats.

During the month of July, Democrats saw a net decrease of three seats, and Republicans saw a net decrease of one seat. Compared to July of last year, the state legislatures are 2.01% less Democratic (46.80% to 44.79%) and 2.29% more Republican (52.01% to 54.30%).  

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RNC outraises DNC for first time since March

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised the Democratic National Committee (DNC) last month for the first time since March, according to July 2021 campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on July 20.

Last month, the RNC raised $16.3 million and spent $13.4 million, while the DNC raised $11.2 million and spent $8.0 million. This was the first set of reports since the April 2021 reports (which cover the month of March), to show the RNC leading the DNC in fundraising. So far in the 2022 cycle, the DNC has raised 2.4% more than the RNC ($87.1 million to $85.0 million), down from a 9.9% fundraising advantage last month.

Republicans also led in fundraising between the U.S. House campaign committees. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $20.1 million and spent $7.3 million while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $14.4 million and spent $6.3 million. So far this cycle, the NRCC has raised 11.5% more than the DCCC ($79.3 million to $70.7 million). The NRCC’s 11.5% fundraising advantage is up from 5.0% last month.

On the Senate side, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $10.5 million and spent $6.2 million last month, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $10.1 million and spent $11.2 million. So far this cycle, the NRSC has raised 9.5% more than the DSCC ($51.2 million to $46.6 million).

Since the beginning of the campaign cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 5.3% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($215.5 million to $204.3 million). The Republican committees’ fundraising advantage is up from 0.03% last month.

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May 2021 partisan composition of state legislative seats: 54.3% Republicans, 44.9% Democrats

Ballotpedia’s May partisan count of state legislative seats found that 54.30% of state legislators are Republicans and 44.93% are Democrats.

At the end of every month, Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures, which refers to which political party holds a majority of seats in each chamber. Republicans currently control 61 chambers, while Democrats control 37. One chamber, the Alaska House of Representatives, has a power-sharing agreement between the two parties.

At the end of May, Republicans held 1,091 of the 1,972 total state senate seats, while Democrats held 867. The Democrats lost two seats since April, while the Republicans’ number of seats stayed the same. Democrats also held 2,450 of the 5,411 total state House seats (up one from last month), while Republicans controlled 2,918 (also up one). Third-party or independent officeholders held 38 seats, and there were 19 vacancies.

In May, Democrats had a net loss of one seat, while Republicans had a net gain of one. Compared to May 2020, Democrats have lost 142 state legislative seats, while Republicans have gained 153 seats. 

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Comparing 2020 presidential and senatorial vote share by party

Image of donkey and elephant to symbolize the Democratic and Republican parties.

Ballotpedia compared the performance of Joe Biden (D) and Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 presidential election to Democratic and Republican Senate candidates in each state.

Thirty-five U.S. Senate elections were held in the general election. Biden outperformed Chris Janicek (D) in Nebraska, Sara Gideon (D) in Maine, and the cumulative vote total for Democratic Senate candidates in Louisiana by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 27.0%, 22.5%, and 15.8%, respectively.

Biden underperformed Steve Bullock (D) in Montana, Doug Jones (D) in Alabama, and Mike Espy (D) in Mississippi by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 10.7%, 8.0%, and 7.0%, respectively.

The following map shows the percentage difference between Biden and Democratic Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Biden overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Biden underperformed. 

Trump outperformed Allen Water (R) in Rhode Island, Bryant Messer (R) in New Hampshire, and Lauren Witzke (R) in Delaware, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 19.2%, 11.4%, and 7.5%, respectively.

Trump underperformed Susan Collins (R) in Maine, Mike Rounds (R) in South Dakota, and Ben Sasse (R) in Nebraska, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 14.6%, 5.7%, and 4.7%, respectively.

The following map shows the percentage difference between Trump and Republican Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Trump overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Trump underperformed.

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