Election 2012

GOP, Democrats Strengthened State Legislative Control in Their Strongholds

Are the two major parties becoming regional?


Maintaining the status quo in many places wasn't a bad result for Republicans, who picked up more than 20 legislative chambers from Democrats in 2010 and who entered election night with majorities in about 60 of the nation's 99 chambers. Republicans consolidated many of those gains yesterday. They held onto many chambers they won in 2010, including the North Carolina House and Senate, the Indiana House, the Michigan House and the Ohio House.

And, Republicans also gained chambers from Democrats, including the Arkansas Senate and Wisconsin Senate. They appeared to have won the Arkansas House as well. The result in Wisconsin ended the short-lived, one-seat Democratic majority that the party had won in a recall election earlier this year. Republicans also won a majority in the Alaska Senate, which has been tied.

The overall result is that Republicans—who also expanded their edge in governorships yesterday by prevailing in North Carolina—may still have the leading role in shaping policy in statehouses. Democrats, however, are likely to have more of a voice than they did the last two years.