Tagpartisanship

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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Gaps between Democratic and Republican Party committee fundraising widen slightly, according to May FEC filings

Six major party committees raised a combined $272 million over the first four months of the 2022 election cycle. In April, the committees raised $66 million, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission. Here’s a closer look at April’s fundraising numbers.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $12.2 million and spent $10.3 million in April, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $11.3 million and spent $6.9 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the DCCC has raised 2.7% more than the NRCC ($46.3 million to $45.1 million). 

The senatorial committees raised less than their house counterparts last month, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raising $6.6 million and spending $7.1 million and the National Republican Senatorial Committee raising $7.2 million and spending $5.3 million. The NRSC has raised 3.4% more than the DSCC so far in the 2022 election cycle ($30.3 million to $29.3 million).

The DCCC and NRSC fundraising leads widened between March and April. In March, the DCCC led by a 1% margin ($34.1 million to $33.8 million) and the NRSC led by a 2% margin ($23.1 million to $22.7 million).

At this point in the 2020 election cycle, the DCCC also led the NRCC in fundraising, but by a wider 27.3% margin ($40.3 million to $30.6 million). Similarly, the NRSC also led the DSCC in fundraising, but by a 28.1% margin ($24.0 million to $18.1 million).

Between the national committees, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised more in April and the Republican National Committee (RNC) spent more. The DNC raised $15.6 million and spent $8.4 million, while the RNC raised $13.2 million and spent $9.3 million. The gap between the DNC and RNC total fundraising in the 2022 cycle is the widest of the three committee pairs we track. The DNC has raised 10.1% more than the RNC ($63.7 million to $57.6 million), up from the 8% margin in March.

At this time in the 2020 election cycle, the opposite was true. The RNC led the DNC in fundraising by 76.8% ($61.8 million to $27.5 million).

So far in the 2022 election cycle, the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC have raised 4.7% more than the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC (139.3 million to $133.0 million), up from the Democrats’ 3.5% lead in March.

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Republicans lost a net 187 state legislative seats during the Trump presidency

During President Donald Trump’s (R) term, Republicans lost a net 187 state legislative seats. In 61 of the 99 state legislative chambers, the Democratic Party held more seats following the 2020 general election than it did after the general election in 2016.

Five chambers in four states flipped from Republican to Democratic control during the course of the Trump presidency: the Colorado State Senate, Maine State Senate, Minnesota House of Representatives, and both chambers in the Virginia General Assembly. In Colorado, Maine, and Virginia, these flips resulted in the creation of Democratic trifectas, where Democrats controlled both legislative chambers and the governorship. Republicans did not gain control of any chambers by the end of Trump’s presidency that they did not already control at its start.

Democrats saw positive margin changes in 34 states during Trump’s presidency, either by increasing an already-existing majority or narrowing/flipping a Republican majority. The largest shifts in Democrats’ favor came in Connecticut, Virginia, and Georgia. Republicans saw positive margin changes in 13 states. The largest shifts in Republicans’ favor came in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Louisiana. There were no shifts in Alaska or Nevada. Nebraska, which has a nonpartisan legislature, was excluded from this analysis.

Across all presidencies since 1921, the president’s party has lost a net average of 552 state legislative seats. Trump’s net loss of 187 Republican state legislative seats was the smallest loss of seats for the president’s party since Harry Truman’s (D) presidency, which saw a net loss of 138 Democratic seats. Two presidents—George H.W. Bush (R) and Ronald Reagan (R)—gained state legislative seats over the course of their presidencies. During the past century, the largest Republican losses occurred under the Herbert Hoover (R) administration with a net loss of 1,662 Republican seats from 1929 to 1933. The largest Democratic losses occurred under the Barack Obama (D) administration with a net loss of 948 Democratic seats from 2009 to 2017.

For more detailed information including additional historical comparisons, chamber-specific changes, and methodology, click here:

https://ballotpedia.org/Changes_in_state_legislative_seats_during_the_Trump_presidency



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

Ballotpedia’s April partisan count of state legislative seats found that 54.29% of state legislators are Republicans and 44.94% 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 April, Republicans held 1,091 of the 1,972 total state senate seats, while Democrats held 869. The Republicans gained two seats since March, while the Democrats’ number of seats remained the same. Republicans also held 2,917 of the 5,411 total state House seats (down one from last month), while Democrats controlled 2,449 (up two). Third-party or independent officeholders held 38 seats, and there were 19 vacancies.

In April, Democrats had a net gain of two seats, while Republicans have a net gain of one. Compared to April 2020, Democrats have lost 142 state legislative seats, while Republicans have gained 151 seats. 

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Democratic and Republican Party committee total fundraising about even, according to April FEC filings

Six party committees have raised a combined $206 million over the first three months of the 2022 election cycle. The committees raised about $83 million in March, according to April filings with the Federal Election Commission. Here’s a closer look at this month’s filings:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $9.3 million and spent $6.3 million in March, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $8.3 million and spent $11.2 million. So far in the 2022 cycle, the NRSC has raised 2% more than the DSCC ($23.1 million to $22.7 million).

The House committees saw higher fundraising last month than their senatorial counterparts, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raising $15.6 million and spending $11.2 million. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $19.1 million and spent $5.0 million. So far in the 2022 cycle, the DCCC has raised 1% more than the NRCC ($34.1 million to $33.8 million).

At this point in the 2020 election cycle, the NRSC also led the DSCC in fundraising, but by a wider 35% margin ($19.5 million to $13.8 million). Similarly, the DCCC also led the NRCC in fundraising, but by a 25% margin ($32.5 million to $25.1 million).

Between the national committees, Republicans outraised and outspent Democrats this March. The Democratic National Committee raised $12.8 million and spent $7.0 million. The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $17.8 million and spent $15.1 million. The gap between the DNC and RNC total fundraising in the 2022 cycle is the widest of the three committee pairs we track. The DNC raised 8% more than the RNC ($48.2 million to $44.4 million).

At this time in the 2020 election cycle, the opposite was true. The RNC led the DNC in total fundraising by 75% ($45.8 million to $20.9 million).

So far in the 2022 election cycle, the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC have raised 3.5% more than the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC ($105.0 million to $101.4 million).

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March 2021 partisan composition of state legislative seats — 54.3% Republicans and 44.9% Democrats

According to March’s partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators across the United States, 54.27% of all state legislators are Republicans, and 44.91% are Democrats.

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures, or which political party holds the majority of the seats in each chamber, at the end of every month. Republicans control 61 chambers, while Democrats control 37. One chamber (Alaska’s state House) has a power-sharing agreement between the two parties.

Republicans held 1,089 of the 1,972 total state senate seats—up five seats from February—and 2,918 of the total 5,411 state house seats—up one seat from last month. Democrats held 869 state senate seats (up three seats) and 2,447 state house seats (down two seats). Independent or third-party legislators held 38 seats. There were 22 vacant seats.

In March, Democrats saw a net increase of one seat, while Republicans saw a net increase of five seats. Compared to March 2020, Democrats have lost five state Senate seats (874 v. 869) and 139 state House seats (2,586 v. 2,447). Republicans have gained four state Senate seats (1,085 v 1,089) and 139 state House seats (2,779 v 2,918). 

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Minnesota GOP to elect new chair in April

Last week, we brought you a story about conflicts within the Democratic Party of Nevada. Today, we turn to a similar event in Minnesota, where two party leaders are engaged in a race for party chair.

In April, the Republican Party of Minnesota will hold an election for party chair. Two-term incumbent Jennifer Carnahan is seeking a third term against state Senator Mark Koran (R). Approximately 340 party members from around the state will meet in a virtual convention to vote for the next chair. These party members were selected at 121 local conventions, also known as basic political operating units (BPOUs), 60 of which were directly managed by Carnahan and state party staffers. Koran has alleged that this constitutes a conflict of interest: “It’s a massive conflict of interest. Free, fair, open and transparent elections have to be the basic foundation of what we do. If you have distrust in the process, it’s difficult to get people to accept the results of those conventions.” Carnahan has denied the allegation: “There was no impropriety. … The real conflict of interest here is [Koran] trying to serve in the state Legislature and trying to run the party at the same time.”

Joe Witthuhn, a party member and Carnahan supporter who helped conduct some BPOUs, said, “If I thought she rigged even one individual vote, I would not support her anymore.” Nathan Raddatz, a party member and Koran supporter said, “The best thing would have been to pull the party out of this and let the individual districts hire somebody, to alleviate accusations of a party and the current chair rigging the election.”

The Star Tribune has described the race for chair as a crucial event in shaping the party’s prospects heading into 2022: “Whoever wins the party leadership race in April will have to immediately focus on 2022, when the governor’s office will be on the ballot, along with all 201 legislative seats. DFL Gov. Tim Walz is expected to run for a second term, but no front runner has emerged on the GOP side.”

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