Victory In the States

Our gains outside of Washington, D.C. were at least equal to, if not greater than, our gains within Washington, D.C. Using the information found on, here is what we accomplished.

Big Picture
Democrats won six Governorships, and lost none, moving from a deficit of 28-22 to an advantage of 28-22. The gains came in Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio.

In state legislative bodies, Democrats control 56 chambers, Republicans control 40. Two, the Montana House (previously tied) and the Pennsylvania House (previously Republican controlled) are undecided. Democrats took nine legislative chambers, and lost none. The gains came in Indiana (House), Iowa (House and Senate), Michigan (House), Minnesota (House), New Hampshire (House and Senate), Oregon (House), and Wisconsin (Senate). The Iowa Senate was previously tied, and the Oklahoma Senate, previously controlled by Democrats, is also now tied. I believe, however, that the tie in the Oklahoma Senate goes to Democrats, because we have the Governorship there.

Democrats control 3,964 state legislature seats, and Republicans control 3,307. I do not know how many are controlled by third parties, or are currently undecided. Democrats also have a non-southern majority in state legislature seats for the first time in many years.

Democrats have new trifectas in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Oregon, bringing our total number of trifectas to sixteen. Our previous trifectas included Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia. Republicans current have nine ten trifectas in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Utah. This is a dramatic turnaround in trifectas since the 2000 redistricting fiasco that led to our current electoral maps.

Where we gained
Overall, Democrats gained at least one seat in one or both chambers in forty-one states, while Republicans gained one or more seat in one or both chambers in only eight states. Here is the complete breakdown (PDF):
  • Democrats gain seats in both chambers: Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

  • Democrats gain seats in House, Senate unchanged: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Wyoming

  • House unchanged, Democrats gain in Senate: Tennessee

  • Democrats gain in House, Republicans gain in Senate: Maine, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas

  • Republicans gain seats in House, Senate unchanged: Georgia, Mississippi

  • Republicans gain seats in both chambers: Alabama, California

  • No elections / Non-partisan / No change: Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah
It is interesting that Democrats did so much better in House races than in Senate races. In fact, seven of the ten Democratic chamber takeaways came in the House rather than the senate, and the Pennsylvania house could still be added to that total. Since House districts are generally smaller and not very well known, it certainly suggests that there was a broad, sweeping, pro-Democratic undercurrent this year. Despite our huge gains, we might have actually slightly under-performed at a number of levels, given the way the wind was blowing.

What is all means
We have now almost entirely restocked our bench following the 1994 elections. Our list of potential candidates for higher office at every level is now much longer than it was only six years ago. We also are in a position to favorably remake electoral maps in than we were six years ago. Also, by taking a substantial lead in trifectas, now we can govern for the first time in a long time, shifting the national policy debate decidedly in our favor. The trend for us at the state level has been pretty much straight upward from 2004-2006. As the backbone of our national coalition, this makes our majorities and influence in Washington, D.C. all the greater.

Tags: 2006 elections, Governors 2005-6, state legislatures (all tags)



by Hesiod Theogeny 2006-11-15 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: The Greens cost Dems the MI Senate.

They sure did.  The worst part is Andy Levin would have been the most environmentally friendly Senator in Michigan.  He might have ended up being one of the most liberal legislators in the state.  

This is a real shame. I feel bad for Andy and the state.  

One doesn't get these opportunities too often, especially in gerrymandered Michigan.

by Eric11 2006-11-15 04:06PM | 0 recs

The one partisan change in either the House or Senate in Tennessee came in west Tennessee, where a state Senator who was elected in 2002 as a Democrat and earlier this year switched and became a Republican, was defeated by a Democrat on election night.

I hate party switchers, and it's always fun when it comes back to bite them in the ass.

by Tom 2006-11-15 09:10AM | 0 recs
Ha ha ha ha ha

The dumb son-of-a-Bush party switcher
must have been so busy listening to
Rush Limbaugh and watching Fox News
that he hadn't heard about Bush's
approval ratings sliding ever lower
for the last year or more before
he made his traitorious flip-flop.

What good fun to hear of this!

by Woody 2006-11-15 03:39PM | 0 recs

Republicans hold a trifecta in Missouri.

by lorax 2006-11-15 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

I'd also like to say one thing- in Vermont we got a veto-proof majority in both houses of the legislature- even though it doesn't look that way on paper for the House. Democrats have 93/150, Progressives have 6, and there is one liberal Independent. This renders our Republican governor basically irrelevant when it comes to policy, especially considering how he has frequently vetoed progressive legislation (like universal health care). Democrats increased their majority in the State Senate to 23-7. This is pretty incredible, considering that after the 2000 election, Republicans had 81 seats in the House and 14 seats in the Senate.

by liberalminded 2006-11-15 09:22AM | 0 recs

Now so long as neither Vermont US senator resigns or dies, we're in the clear there.

by scientician 2006-11-15 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: cool

One law change could take the power to make replacing appointments away from the governor. Remember Massachusetts?

by micha1976 2006-11-16 02:01AM | 0 recs
WTF Cali?

Republicans gain seats in both chambers: Alabama, CALIFORNIA

That one really jumped out at me that Republicans gained in both houses in California.  Can anyone from that state comment on what happened?  Was it the 'Arnold' factor, or are these Republicans as liberal as Chafee, or what?  I'd hate to think that electorally, California could be in play in a few short election cycles.  2012!?

by maddogg 2006-11-15 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF Cali?

There was no Arnold wave.  Despite his huge victory he did not help any Republicans win office.  He never campaigned with them.  The Republicans may have picked up one seat, but they are still counting ballots and we may yet hold on to the seat.

by juls 2006-11-15 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF Cali?

Hmm, 1 open senate seat flipped by narrow margin in Orange County. As far as I can find, the one assembly seat gained by Republicans was a vacant seat (why, I have no idea) in a Republican area. Not too bad.

Central Valley is red and getting redder. I think the Dem office holders are too comfortable that their gerrymandered seats are safe.

California Republicans tend NOT to be liberal, they go for ideological purity. Arnold would have had hard if not impossible time winning Republican nomination in a regular primary. He needed the circus of the recall election.

by kvenlander 2006-11-15 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF Cali?

I'm not too savvy about the condition of the Dem state party aparatus, but my impression is that California is a bit like the Dems pre-1994 in that there is a lot of emphasis on staying in power vs. improving and strengthening the party.  

Ironically enough, I think we need as much an infusion of new blood and new organization as some of the deep red states do, but for opposite reasons.  OUr state Dems have gotten a bit complacent and lazy and rely on demographics instead of hard work to win elections.  I'm hoping that that is going to start to change, but I'm not sure what the impetus is going to be.  

For example, Hispanics are a huge demographic that isn't being tapped enough in California.  I think again that things have been too easy up until now because Dems have kind of coasted on the post-Prop 187 backlash among Hispanics against Republicans.  Relying on the other guys to be a worse choice is not an effective strategy, however, and I suspect one aspect of Arnold's resurgence is that he's done better with Hispanics than many other Republicans have.  

by katerina 2006-11-15 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF Cali?

No.  So far there is only one seat in the legislature statewide that is in danger of flipping from D to R.

In that race they are still counting votes with the R candidate up by 300 votes and the lead narrowing.

There are still 1500 absentee and 6000 provisional ballots to be counted.

If the Dem pulls ahead then there will be a net zero gain/loss in the CA legislature.

Among the statewide races, we did lose the Insurance Commissioner seat to a Republican but picked up Secretary of State so it's a wash.

by PaulDem 2006-11-15 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF Cali?

And I don't think anybody is devastated because Bustamante (D) lost...

by kvenlander 2006-11-15 02:55PM | 0 recs
Democrats did great in the South

Read more here: th

The Democratic wave carried to statehouses in the South, with Democrats making substantial gains in Southern state house and senate races. Among the key results:

* No party flipped control of a state legislative body in the South yesterday. The closest call was the Tennessee senate, where Democrats came within one race of taking the upper chamber.

* Out of the battles for control of 26 house and senate chambers in the South, Democrats strengthened their position in 10; Republicans only did so in 3. There was no change in 10, and 3 others were influenced by independent candidates.

* Democrats saw their biggest gains in Southern state house races. Key states: Florida (+7 house seats for Democrats); Kentucky (+5); North Carolina (+3); and West Virginia (+4). Republican gains were small; the largest was the GOP's 2-seat pickup in the Alabama senate.

* Altogether, Democrats gained 26 seats in Southern state legislatures, and Republicans lost 20 seats in the 13 states.

* Democrats strengthened their position in 8 Southern states; in 5 of those, significantly so (AR, FL, KY, NC and WV). The GOP only strengthened its position in Alabama.

Here's the post-election makeup of state legislatures in the South and what gains or losses it represents for Democrats and Republicans. Chambers with a Democratic majority are in bold:

SENATE: D=23; R=12 (R+2)
HOUSE: D=62; R=43 (R+1)

SENATE: D=27; R=8 (no change)
HOUSE: D=74; R=23; Other=3 (D+2; R-5)

SENATE: D=14; R=26 (no change)
HOUSE: D=42; R=78 (D+7)

SENATE: D=22; R=34 (no change)
HOUSE: D=73; R=104; Other=3 (D-3; R=no change)

SENATE: D=16; R=21; Other=1 (no change)
HOUSE: D=61; R=38; Other=1 (D+5; R-6)

SENATE: D=24; R=15 (no change)
HOUSE: D=63; R=41; Other=1 (D+2; R=no change)

SENATE: D=27; R=23; Other=2 (no change)
HOUSE: D=75; R=46; Other=1 (no change)

SENATE: D=31; R=19 (D+2)
HOUSE: D=66; R=49; Other=5 (D+3; R-8)

SENATE: D=20; R=26 (no change)
HOUSE: D=50; R=72; Other=2 (D=no change; R-2)

SENATE: D=16; R=17 (D+1)
HOUSE: D=53; R=46 (no change)

SENATE: D=11; R=20 (D=no change; R+1)
HOUSE: D=65; R=85 (D+1)

SENATE: D=17; R=23 (no change)
HOUSE: D=40; R=56; Other=4 (no change)

SENATE: D=23; R=11 (D+2)
HOUSE: D=72; R=28 (D+4)

Again, the governing control of each legislature stays the same:

* Democrats still control 6 Southern state legislatures (house and senate)

  • Republicans still control 5 Southern legislatures
  • Two legislatures remain split

by progressivesouth 2006-11-15 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats did great in the South

SENATE: D=11; R=20 (D=no change; R+1)
HOUSE: D=65; R=85 (D+1)

Actually, Dems won five seats in the State House, in addition to one they had picked up in a special election back in January. The total is currently R=80, D=69, with one open R seat after an incumbent passed away in September. There will be a special election to fill that seat in December, at the same time as the TX-23 Congressional special election.

by kuff 2006-11-15 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats did great in the South

Democrats did NOT do great in SC. Quite the contrary, we got killed.

SC Senate was not up for re-election in 2006.

Democrats lost Treasurer's office.

Democrats could not defeat the Lt. Gov. who blatantly used the office for his own gain, despite having a good, well financed challenger, and despite having the actual Highway Patrol video of the Lt. Gov. using his influence to get out of a ticket for doing 100+ MPH.

In Supt. of Education, despite running a career educator with a platform that would make even a lot of Republicans smile, who had the support of probably about 90% of the teachers in the state, against a woman who had never spent one day in education and was the poster child for vouchers, we only held it by about 500 votes, recount pending. This one shouldn't have been close.

We did gain one House seat, but considering what was up, this was a disappointment.

The SC Democrats have plenty of problems, the most obvious one being no money.

by wayward 2006-11-15 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats did great in the South

Keep in mind that Virginia has their state elections in off-years.  So, most of Virginia's legislature is up for reelection in 2007.

by Southern Blue Dog 2006-11-30 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

It looks like NY will fall in the cagegory of picking up seats in both houses. The Democrats most likely will pick up a seat in the Senate where Sentor Nick Spano trails Andrea Stewart Cousins by over 2,000 votes and the number of absentee and provisional are not enough to make up the difference. He may concede today.

by lporter 2006-11-15 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

where did we pickup in the assembly?

Also, we are far, far, far, far behind in the staste senate.

The NY DSCC did NOTHING to help the local candidates despite the fact that they have $800,000+ in the bank for no apparent reason.

AFAIK, the DLCC didn't do anything to help local new york races either dispite Spitzer and Clinton totally blowing away the republican opponents.

-- MrMacMan

by MrMacMan 2006-11-15 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

by lporter 2006-11-15 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

There was a lot of discussion in this last cycle about how to allocate the limited campaign dollars. For 2008 (and the limited number of 2007 races), I strongly suggest that we identify 5 or 10 of the states where we'd most like to re-draw the map, and sink a bunch of money into state races there to assure we hold the state house at redistricting time.  Sound like a good strategy?

by gas28man 2006-11-15 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

I like the idea, although I'm sure plenty would be against the idea of only concentrating on certain states, to the detriment of others.  

But you have to start somewhere, and with limited funds, I think focusing on certain states is a good idea to explore.  

I think  heavily gerrymandered states with oversized Republican majorities compared to their actual support are the obvious places to start; see Michigan, Ohio, PA.

by Eric11 2006-11-15 04:22PM | 0 recs

The Republicans certainly don't treat Nebraska as nonpartisan. There were 21 open seats in last week's elections, and 6 of them were held by Democrats. Republicans picked off two of those seats, but Democrats made gains in four open seats held by Republicans. That's an overall gain of 2 seats.

Partisan breakdown numbers are always a little sketchy, given that this is a technically nonpartisan legislature, but here's my count, out of 24 races in 2006:

8 Democrats (+2)
16 Republicans (-2)

Of the 25 seats up for election in 2008, 13 will be open due to term limits, one will be filled by appointment, and the remaining eleven will be incumbents. The partisan breakdown: 6 Democrats (3 open seats), 17 Republicans (8 open seats, one vacancy), and 2 Independents (both open seats).

That makes the total partisan breakdown of the legislature 33 Republicans, 14 Democrats, 2 Independents.

by Dave Sund 2006-11-15 09:50AM | 0 recs

Uh, we made no gains in the Senate.

No idea where your information came from but we did not pick up a single seat in the Senate.  We only made gains in the House.

by kydem 2006-11-15 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States
     The reason a greater percentage of state House seats than state Senate seats flipped is simple--state senators serve 4-year terms, and only half of them were on the ballot last week. Democratic gains represent a little less than 5% of the total number of state House seats, and 2.87% of the total number of state Senate seats. And taking out the New Hampshire House, where Democrats gained 90 seats, the result in all the other states for the House was 4.6%.
     And, Maddogg, the Republicans only gained one seat in each house of the California legislature, and they're still under 42% of the seats in each house.
by Ron Thompson 2006-11-15 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

50 State Strategy at work.  Rahm may be getting the credit now, but in the years to come it will be Dean whose seen as the mastermind when we're actually a national party operating strong in all 50 states.

by blueryan 2006-11-15 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

New York will probably have picked up seats in the Assembly and Senate.

by yodafone 2006-11-15 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

Yes spano has probably been defeated, but where is this assembly pickup?

Also, shouldn't we have picked up more then 1 Senate seat when we have huge, massive named on the top of the ballot which should have helped out these local races?

From what I'm reading the DLCC did little in NY and other blaim should fall to the NY DSCC which has tons of money and no balls to use it.

-- MrMacMan

by MrMacMan 2006-11-15 01:17PM | 0 recs
Make that 10 Chambers!

Assuming numbers hold through the official recount, Gov. Schweitzer will decide a tied race that could tip the MT House to the Dems.  That would be the 10th new Democratic majority this cycle.

Also, a Republican in the Senate is talking about switching parties, which would move the tied Senate back to a Democratic majority.

More here.

by The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee 2006-11-15 10:22AM | 0 recs
Out of cycle redistricting?

Request for a diary showing where our best redistricting opportunities lie.

I heard earlier somewhere it was unlikely but it seems to me that's up to each state, and if the Republicans do it in any of their tri-fecta states, we had better respond.

I hope we don't gerrymand like they have, but we could undo some of their 1990s damage without being hypocrites.

by scientician 2006-11-15 10:29AM | 0 recs

You have Virginia listed as "Democrats gain seats in House, Senate unchanged", but the PDF you link shows a Republican gain. I think it really should just count as unchanged, since the only election was a special election to fill an open seat (Virginia legislative election occur in odd years) and I'm pretty sure it was occupied by a Republican before.

by KCinDC 2006-11-15 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Virginia

that's correct.

we did pick up a House and Senate seat back at the beginning of the year, thanks to a couple smart appointments made by Tim Kaine. it's still a long way off from the Democrats retaking the Virginia legislature, though.

by johnny longtorso 2006-11-15 01:36PM | 0 recs
Unless Dems do something bad........

Please Dems leaders show us that you will lead in ethics reform, fiscal responsibility and middle class issues.

by jasmine 2006-11-15 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

Obviously, you have the facts wrong and I assume you will change it?

by kydem 2006-11-15 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States
Which facts do I have wrong that I have not changed? I am always open to making changes when people point out I am wrong. But you have to tell me where I am wrong.
by Chris Bowers 2006-11-15 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

see my comment titled KY.

We made not a single gain in the state Senate, only the House.

by kydem 2006-11-15 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

You've yet to fix it

by kydem 2006-11-16 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

I'd like to add something to this.  While it certainly true that there was a Democratic wave, it is equally true that the Dems have improved their ground game around the country tremendously.  I was helping out on a campaign in Rutland County VT, a place formerly known as a conservative stronghold.  We kicked out three GOP incumbents in the House and went from having 0 of the 3 Senators from the county to having the top vote getter.

While I'm sure the Dem wave helped here, considering VT still has a R for a Gov and a Lt. Gov it seems unlikely that it's the primary cause for our pickups.  We had a killer field program with top notch people and incredible grassroots support.  I suspect that to varying levels that's true across the country.  The 50 State Strategy really is working, and our field and GOTV capabilities are only going to get better from here.

by B VT 2006-11-15 11:53AM | 0 recs
This is where the 50 state strategy really works

WE have to build from the grass roots, up.  Let's keep it up!

by MDMan 2006-11-15 12:47PM | 0 recs

The one State Senate seat the Dems lost belonged to a throwback rural DINO who generally voted as a conservative. It was no great loss. In practical terms, the Dems have 11 of the 31 seats, which is enough to prevent bills to come to the floor based on the traditional rule that requires a two-thirds vote for legislation to get a full floor debate. The retiring Dem was seldom a vote against bringing bills to the floor.

As noted in my previous comment, Dems gained five seats in the State House (plus another picked up in a January special election) and now have 69 seats to the R's 80. One seat is open pending a special election due to the death in September of a Republican incumbent.

No House Dems were defeated, and all open seats were successfully defended. It was as good a year for Dems in the House as one could have hoped.

by kuff 2006-11-15 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Victory In the States

As to restocking the bench, anyone know of a link to state-by-state election results for down-ballot statewide office such as Attorney General, Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner, Auditor, and so forth?  That would just be another measure of the extent of the wave.

by Prairie 2006-11-15 03:40PM | 0 recs
Victory In Texas

Back in early 2005, a paid staffer
from the State Democratic Party spoke
at my home country's annual dinner.

Only months after Bush's "mandate"
election, our mood was gloom.

The official was guardedly optimistic,

IIRC He said we had picked up a seat
or two in the Lege in 2004. This modest
increase came after Democrats had lost
seats in the Lege in every election
for 20 YEARS!

So pick up one or two in '04, maybe
another one in a special election
in '05, and now five seats in '06.
The trendline looks great, and now
we've already cut the margin in half!

by Woody 2006-11-15 04:13PM | 0 recs
Oklahoma Senate

Actually the deciding vote in the Oklahoma Senate comes from the Lt Governor, not the Governor.  And that was a Dem pick up, with Jari Askins winning the post vacated by Republican Mary Fallin (who won the House seat vacated by Ernie Istook (R) who tried (unsuccessfully) to unseat governor Brad Henry.

by rjohn 2006-11-16 06:20AM | 0 recs


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