In the States, Democrats All but Ran the Table

Republicans have made modest gains, however. They flipped the Virginia House of Delegates last year, though not the State Senate, while gaining seats in New Jersey. They may have broken the Democrats’ supermajorities in New York, while picking up seats in the Illinois Senate, New Mexico House and a host of red states. They took supermajorities in both chambers of the Florida Legislature, the Iowa Senate, the North Carolina Senate, the South Carolina House and the Wisconsin Senate. In races for governor, they notched commanding wins in Florida, Ohio and Texas, and gave Democrats a scare in Kansas and Oregon.

But in 2022, not a single state legislative chamber flipped from blue to red. A party in power hasn’t achieved that result in a midterm election year since at least 1934, according to Post.

Democrats say abortion rights have a lot to do with their good year. The closely watched battle over a newly redrawn State Senate district in Paradise Valley, an upscale suburb of Phoenix, may be the cleanest example: Christine Marsh, a teacher who ran on abortion rights, looks to have defeated Nancy Barto, who was the sponsor of Arizona’s new law banning abortion after 15 weeks.

As for the judicial branch, roughly two dozen states held elections for their high courts this year, but there were no major shifts in power despite record spending on both sides. Republicans swept three races in Ohio and added a seat on the State Supreme Court in North Carolina, cementing a 5-2 conservative majority. Those two outcomes could be consequential: Judges in both states threw out heavily gerrymandered maps this year. Republicans came up short in Illinois, where they were hoping to end the Democrats’ decades-old majority.

What’s left? Democrats could still flip the State House in Pennsylvania and might eke out a tie in the Arizona State Senate. The races for governor and state attorney general in Arizona and Nevada remain too close to call.

When the dust settles, there could be a few swing states where divided government means nonstop brawling over the basic rules of democracy.

In Arizona, Kari Lake, a Republican former television anchor, might surge ahead of Katie Hobbs, the Democratic secretary of state, by the time all the votes are counted. As of Friday afternoon, Hobbs was still leading by around 27,000 votes, but several hundred thousand votes have not yet been tallied. In the attorney general’s race there, Kris Mayes, a Democrat, was clinging to a slight lead over Abraham Hamadeh, a Republican.


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