The 2018 midterm elections were significant due to the volume of statewide races across the country with potential policy and political impact. As anticipated, there were significant victories for the Democratic candidates for Governor. Democrats flipped seven governor seats from Republican control, bringing the total up to 23 Democrat and 26 Republican governors. This is a big win for Democrats, especially considering no single party has netted more than 6 governorships since 1994. Note: These numbers are based on projections of a Republican win in Alaska and no official call yet in Georgia.
At the Attorney General level, Senator Aaron Ford flipped the Nevada Attorney General office from Republican to Democrat. There also may be potential flips for the Democrats in Colorado and Michigan, but those races have not yet been called. Other notable results include Tish James, who will become the first African American elected statewide in New York, Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, who will also be the first African American elected to the position in Minnesota, and William Tong, who will be the first Asian American Attorney General in Connecticut. Once all the races are called, the Democrats are poised to take over the majority of the Attorney General seats across the country.
On the legislative level, Democrats made some inroads picking up new trifectas in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico and New York. Trifectas, which are valuable heading into redistricting after the next Census, signify that one party has control of both legislative chambers and the Governor’s mansion. There are now 12 Democratic trifectas, up from seven, heading into next year. Despite these gains for Democrats, Republicans still control a majority of state legislative chambers. Republicans, who currently control 67 chambers, lost control of only 5 chambers in this election. In 2019, they will control 62 out of a possible 99 chambers.
Visit McGuireWoods Consulting’s website for midterm election results from the gubernatorial and attorneys general races across the country.