by Tim Storey
(Updated at Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 1:21 p.m.)
Republicans have added over 675 seats to their ranks in this election, dramatically surpassing 1994 gains. This number could go even higher as the tallies in the undecided races are determined.
The success by Republicans at the state level could give the GOP a dramatic advantage in the redistricting cycle that will start in just a few short months. The Census Bureau will deliver data to legislatures in early February. There are many caveats when it comes to redistricting especially given the legal complexity of the task and the inevitable litigation. But Republicans are in the best shape for the decennial linedrawing that they have been in since the modern era of redistricting began in the 1970s.
All legislative chamber switches in the 2010 election are going from a Democratic majority to a new Republican majority with one going from Dem to tied. Sentence updated 12/14/10, see comment below: That includes an historic win in the Minnesota Senate where Republicans will be in the majority for the first time since the legislature switched back to partisan elections in 1974. In addition, Republicans now control the Alabama Legislature for the first time since reconstruction and the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time since 1870. As of now, Republicans appear to have added at least 19 chambers and that number could grow. The GOP gained 20 chambers in the 1994 election, and it’s not out of the question they will reach that milestone again this year with control of several chambers still up in the air.
Across the country, Republicans now control 55 chambers, Democrats have 38 and two are tied. Three chambers are undecided. Remember, Nebraska legislature is a unicameral.
The chamber switches thus far are all Democratic to Republican except for Montana House which was tied and is now Republican, and the Oregon House which was Democratic and is now tied. Changes are:
Alabama - House and Senate
Colorado - House
Indiana - House
Iowa - House
Maine – House and Senate
Michigan - House
Minnesota - House and Senate
Montana - House
New Hampshire - House and Senate
North Carolina - House and Senate
Ohio - House
Pennsylvania - House
Wisconsin - Assembly and Senate
The GOP flexed their muscle in all regions of the country. In the south, Republicans now control 18 of the 28 legislative chambers and a majority of all southern legislative seats for the first time since reconstruction. Prior to the election, each party held 14 southern chambers, and just 20 years ago, there were no legislative chambers in the south held by the GOP. In the midwest, Democrats now control only 38 percent of the region's legislative seats--their lowest point since 1956. Republicans also made gains in the east and west. Gains in the east were helped by the huge shift of over 120 seats to the R column in the 400 member New Hampshire House.
Two chambers still undecided:
New York - Senate
Oregon - Senate
For more information, log onto NCSL's StateVote 2010 page.