The NCSL Blog


By Wendy Underhill

NCSL StateVote logoOn Election Day, 6,066 of the 7,383 legislative seats in the nation will be decided—82 percent of the total.

The results of those Nov. 6 elections will determine partisan control of legislative chambers, legislatures and states. (OK, the election of 36 governors that same day will also contribute to state control.)

For now, here’s where we stand:

  • 4,112 legislators are Republican and 3,128 are Democrats. In addition, we have 49 senators in Nebraska’s unicameral legislature, where candidates run as nonpartisans, 38 who identify as independent or another party, and 56 vacancies at the time of this writing.
  • 68 legislative chambers are controlled by Republicans, and 30 are controlled by Democrats. (Nebraska, which has a unicameral nonpartisan legislature, is not counted here.)
  • In 32 states, both chambers are controlled by Republicans, and in 13 states, both are controlled by Democrats. Four legislatures are divided, having one chamber controlled by each major party. (Again, Nebraska is not included.)
  • Republicans control 34 governorships, and Democrats control 16.
  • Putting together the last two facts, 25 states have all three power bases for state government—both chambers and the governorship—in GOP control, and seven have this “trifecta” under Democratic control. That leaves 17 with split government. (Still no Nebraska.)

You can read all about the upcoming legislative elections, and the dozens of statewide ballot measures that will be voted on that day too, on NCSL’s new StateVote 2018 webpage.

Linked on this page are lots of other election-related resources, such as state primary dates, state primary types, current partisan control for legislatures and states, and the exact number of seats in each chamber up for election.

Have you got a political story to tell, a guess as to what will happen in your state, or data to share? NCSL wants it all, so we can stay abreast of the political realities in the states. Please let us know.

Wendy Underhill is NCSL’s director of elections and redistricting.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.