Adding to the list of disappointments for the GOP in the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats appear to have mostly made gains in state legislative chambers across the country, as well as fending off Republican challengers to several key swing state governors.
According to Axios, Democrats are currently fighting to hold both state houses in Nevada; if they manage to do so, it will mark the first time that the presidential party has not lost any state legislative chambers in a midterm election since 1934.
Overall, the GOP still has control over more state governments and holds more state legislative seats across the country in total, due in large part to the landslide gains in the 2010 election cycle and the party’s subsequent dominance of redistricting following that year’s census.
But this year, Democrats secured trifectas – single party control over both houses of the state legislature, as well as the governorship – in both Massachusetts and Maryland, where outgoing moderate Republican governors Charlie Baker (R-Mass.) and Larry Hogan (R-Md.), respectively, were replaced by Democrats.
In Michigan, in addition to Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) winning re-election by a comfortable margin against challenger Tudor Dixon (R-Mich.), the Democrats flipped control of both the State House of Representatives and State Senate, giving the party complete control of the state for the first time in 40 years. Democrats similarly flipped the legislature of Minnesota while holding onto the governorship with Tim Walz’s (D-Minn.) re-election, while Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D-Wisc.) managed to narrowly defeat Republican challenger Tim Michels, even though Republicans held onto their majorities in the legislature.
With several states now fully under Democratic control, Democrats in these states feel emboldened to pass more progressive legislation, including bills to legalize questionable election rules like the ones adopted during the COVID pandemic, as well as pro-abortion laws. Republicans had hoped to flip control of states such as Wisconsin and Michigan in order to pass election integrity laws that would crack down on voter fraud ahead of the 2024 presidential election.