Tagpartisanship

Total partisan composition of state legislatures changed by less than half a percentage point in 2022

The partisan composition of all 7,386 state legislative seats in the country remained effectively unchanged as a result of the 2022 elections.

After the Nov. 8 elections, Democrats lost a net six seats nationwide compared to the pre-election totals. Republicans gained a net 28 seats and independent or minor party officeholders lost a net of 20 seats.

Overall, the total partisan composition of state legislative seats changed by less than half a percentage point in any direction, the smallest overall change ever recorded by Ballotpedia.

Democrats had net gains in 16 states that held elections on Nov. 8, including five where Republicans controlled both chambers. This resulted in Democrats winning a majority of seats in the Michigan House and Senate, and the Pennsylvania House. Democrats also had a net gain in Minnesota, which had a split legislature, with the party retaining the House and gaining the Senate.

Democrats’ largest gains were in Vermont, where the party picked up 17 seats, representing 9.4% of the legislature. This maintained the party’s existing veto-proof majority in the Senate and created a new veto-proof majority in the House. Vermont’s governor, Phil Scott, is a Republican.

Republicans had net gains in 21 states, including five where Democrats controlled both chambers, but the party did not gain majorities in any chambers in 2022.

Republicans’ largest gains were in West Virginia, where the party picked up 17 seats, representing 12.7% of the legislature. This solidified the party’s trifecta in the state. Democrats now control 11.2% of all seats in the legislature, the party’s lowest point in state history.

Independent or minor party candidates had net gains in two states: Alaska and Rhode Island. In Alaska, independents had a net gain of two seats in the House, where Republicans won a numerical majority, but talks are ongoing regarding the creation of a multipartisan governing coalition.

The partisan composition of seven state legislatures did not change in 2022.

Click here to view an interactive version of this map.

The chart below shows each state where either or neither major party gained a percentage of the legislature.

Use the link below to view more data from this analysis, including chamber-specific figures.

Election results, 2022: State legislative seats that changed party control



November Partisan Counts: 54.49% of state legislators are Republican, 43.97% Democratic

At the end of November 2022, 54.49% of all state legislators in the United States are Republican while 43.97% are Democratic. There are 7,383 state legislative seats in the country.

Democrats hold 848 state Senate seats and 2,398 state House seats, gaining 10 seats since last month. Republicans hold 1,105 state Senate seats and 2,918 state House seats, losing five seats since last month.

There are 66 vacant state House seats across 17 states and 14 vacant state Senate seats across 13 states. There are a total of 29 independent or third party seats in Houses across 10 states, and there are a total of five independent or third party seats in Senates across four states.

Compared to November 2021, Democrats have lost 13 state Senate seats (861 v. 848) and 41 state House seats (2,439 v. 2,398). Republicans have gained 15 state Senate seats (1,091 v. 1,105) and gained six state House seats (2,912 v. 2,918).

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31 states release the partisan affiliations of registered voters: 39% are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 29% are independents

Thirty-three U.S. states and territories report the party affiliations of registered voters as indicated on their voter registration forms. In states with closed primaries, affiliation with a political party can be a condition of participation in that party’s primaries. The remaining states either do not request partisan affiliations on their registration forms or they do not report the totals publicly.

The map below shows the 33 states and territories that display voter registration figures publicly. Note that the U.S. Virgin Islands does not appear on this map.

In 23 of the 33 included states and territories, no single partisan affiliation included the majority of registered voters. Democrats were the majority of registered voters in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands and were the largest plurality of registered voters in nine other states. Republicans were a majority of registered voters in Idaho, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming and were the largest plurality of registered voters in eight other states. 

The majority of registered voters were independents or unaffiliated with any political party in Alaska, Arkansas, and Massachusetts. Independents were the largest plurality in six other states. Members of other political partieswere neither a majority nor the largest plurality in any of the states or territories covered.

The table below provides a detailed breakdown of the partisan affiliations of registered voters in the states and territories that publicly report these figures.

In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden (D) received a combined 53.5% of the vote to Donald Trump’s (R) 44.7% across the 33 included states and territories. Nearly 124 million registered voters reside in these areas. According to Ballotpedia’s analysis, 48 million registered voters in these areas identified themselves as Democrats. At 38.78%, Democrats represented the single largest share of registered voters in the included states and territories. A total of 36.4 million registered voters identified themselves as Republicans, representing 29.42% of registered voters in the included areas. Approximately 4 million registered voters identified themselves as members of other political parties. This amounted to 3.25% of registered voters in these areas.

A total of 35.3 million registered voters identified themselves as independents or unaffiliated with any political party. This amounted to 28.55% of registered voters in the included areas. Independent and third-party voters were 31.80% of all registered voters in these areas. For context, independent and third-party presidential candidates received about 1.9% of the vote nationwide.



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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