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States Post Major Party Changes in Recent Elections

Nov 12, 2010

The midterm elections brought major changes to state governments with an unprecedented 37gubernatorial elections held. Of these races, 24 were for open seats where no incumbents were running. Republicans picked up 11 governorships currently held by Democrats, while the Democrats won only four seats now held by a Republican. In 2011, Republicans will hold the majority of governorships, 29-19, with one seat held by an Independent. The remaining seat hangs on the results of the race in Minnesota, which has yet to be called.

The Republican wave also switched control of many state legislatures. Republicans took control in seven states of both houses currently held by the Democratic Party, and they now control the legislative and executive branches in 20 states. Democrats have control of both branches in 11 states, and 18 states will split control. Although the Minnesota governor's race currently leans toward Democrat Mark Dayton, Republicans will have control in the legislature.

Governors will play important roles in 2012 presidential politics, especially in swing states. This swing toward Republican leadership will have a significant long-term impact due to redistricting of congressional seats to reflect the 2010 census.

Election results in the top 10 dairy-producing states reflect the nationwide change. Seven will now have Republican governors while only two, or possibly three, will be led by Democrats. Republicans have total control of the executive and legislative branches in at least five states, while Democrats have majority control of both branches in two states, California and Washington.

Election Results by State

  • In Wisconsin, both the legislature and governorship flipped to Republican control.
  • In New York, Democrats held on to both the governorship and the House, but Republicans picked up a one-person majority in the Senate.
  • In Idaho, Republicans claimed a few seats in the House, keeping them in charge of both the legislative and executive branches.
  • Republicans took control of the Pennsylvania governorship and now have control of both the executive and legislative branches.
  • Although the governor's race in Minnesota is yet to be called, Republicans took control of both houses of the legislature.
  • In Texas, Republicans gained more seats in the House and held on to the governorship and the Senate.
  • Republicans picked up the governorship and Senate in Michigan, giving the party control over the executive and legislative branches.
  • Republicans also captured the governorship in New Mexico but only gained a few seats in the House, leaving a Democratic majority in the legislature.


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