Aug 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Charted: The partisan battle for statehouses

State House leanings
Data: National Conference of State Legislators; Note: As of June 1, there were 78 statehouse seats across all 50 states that were vacant or held by members who do not identify as Republican or Democrat; Nebraska has a unicameral state legislature and is not included in this map; Map: Nicki Camberg/Axios

No more than five seats separate the majority and minority parties in three statehouses hosting elections in November — Arizona, Minnesota and Michigan, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Why it matters: Republicans have dominated Democrats at the state level for over a decade, allowing them to exercise outsized power over policies governing abortion access, gun control, voting, public health and other hot-button issues.

By the numbers: Republicans have the fewest number of seats separating them from the Democratic majority in Minnesota (five seats), Nevada (nine seats) and Delaware (11 seats) statehouses.

Democrats have the best chance of flipping a statehouse this year in Michigan, where Republicans have just a three-seat buffer.

  • Democrats only need to flip one seat in Arizona's Statehouse to split control with Republicans. But Jacobson points out that redistricting in the state will make that feat difficult and could even help Republicans gain seats in the lower chamber in November.
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