Statehouse elections reveal minimal change

November 5, 2020

Keith Goble


Statehouse elections this year saw party control in 86 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers mostly maintain the status quo. In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports the fewest number of chambers flipped party control since the 1946 election.

Republicans now claim the majority in 59 chambers while the Democrats rule 37 chambers – changing from 59 and 39 before Nov. 3, respectively. The final tally, however, will be changing with Arizona’s election still undecided. Two days after Election Day, control in each chamber of the Arizona Legislature remains unclear. Republicans have been the majority party.

Two years after Democrats flipped both chambers away from the GOP in New Hampshire, Republicans were able to regain control of the House and Senate.

With official results pending in Arizona, the GOP has the majority of both chambers in 29 states. Democrats have the majority in 18 states. The Minnesota statehouse is split between the parties.

Nebraska has a single-chamber legislature that is nonpartisan.


There now are 38 states that have a trifecta, where the executive and legislative branches are controlled by the same party, with the GOP picking up Montana and New Hampshire this election cycle. The distinction is for political parties that hold the governorship, the state Senate and state House majorities. Republicans have control in 23 states and Democrats claim it in 15 states.

If Arizona Republicans maintain control of both statehouse chambers, the state would remain a GOP trifecta, and add two more chambers to the Republican controlled legislatures bringing the totals to 61-37.

The grip of a party’s control is significant because it can allow for the majority party to push through initiatives despite opposition from the minority party.

With this year’s elections nearly wrapped up, both parties turn their attention to 2022. At that time, multiple sources report that 88 of the nation’s 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections. LL


Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.