The media is still focusing on the big GOP wins in the House of Representatives. Only a few commentators have noticed the huge gains that Republicans have made at the state level. Here’s some analysis from the Wall Street Journal:
Gains in eight states—including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin— gave the GOP control of the governor’s office and both legislative chambers. Republicans will be in charge there when drawing new congressional maps, something every legislature must do following each 10-year federal census. Minnesota could join the list depending on the outcome of a governor’s race that was still too close to call as of Wednesday evening.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now hold the largest share of state legislative seats—53%—since 1928. The party added at least 680 seats Tuesday, the largest gain by either party since 1966, the bipartisan group said.
The authority to carve out districts helps create safe congressional seats for the party in charge. Only a handful of states put the redistricting process in the hands of an independent commission.
“We should be able to pick up at least two-dozen seats,” said Frank Donatelli, the chairman of GOPAC, a political-action committee formed in 1979 to fight for state-level Republicans. “We are in better shape than at any time since the 1960s.”
Democrats didn’t gain control of an additional chamber in any state.