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Democrats Are Actively Trying to Flip State Legislative Chambers

In 2022, Democrats flipped the state legislature in Michigan, which, along with the earlier election of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), gave them the trifecta. In 2023, Democrats flipped the Virginia House of Delegates, giving them full control of the Virginia General Assembly, although the governor, Glenn Youngkin, is a Republican. These victories have inspired the Democrats to actively attempt to flip more state legislative chambers in 2024. Republicans have focused on winning state legislatures for years, but for Democrats, this is something fairly new.

The DLCC (Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee), which is like the DCCC, except for state legislatures, wrote a memo outlining its plans. Here is a map showing its targets.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee's targets for 2024

Arizona is one of the DLCC's biggest targets. Republicans control the Senate 16-14 and the House 31-29. That means flipping two seats in either chamber flips the chamber. All seats in both chambers are up in 2024. If both chambers flip, the Democrats would get the trifecta, since the governor is Democrat Katie Hobbs. The presidential race and Senate race will also be hotly contested. Efforts to increase turnout for the top of the ticket could also pay benefits for the legislative races.

In Minnesota, Democrats have the trifecta, but only by a thread. The DFL has 34 seats in the Senate to 33 for the Republicans. The DFL margin in the House is 70-64. The DLCC wants to increase the DFL margin in the House as no state senators are up in 2024.

Democrats control the legislature in Michigan, but the margins are small. In the Senate, it is 20-18 and in the House it is currently 54-54 with two vacancies in blue districts. No senators are up in 2024 but all House members are up for reelection.

Republicans control the Pennsylvania Senate 28-22, but Democrats control the House 102-101. Half the Senate and the entire House are up in 2024.

The New Hampshire House is the largest state legislative chamber in the country, with 400 members, barely smaller than the 435-seat U.S. House of Representatives. There are 198 Republicans, 197 Democrats, 2 independents, and 1 vacancy. The Republicans control the chamber. All 400 seats are up in 2024. Republicans have a better hold on the state Senate, 14-10, but the entire Senate is also up in 2024.

The second tier of races are in Kansas, Wisconsin, Georgia, and North Carolina. We don't exactly understand the interest in Kansas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Republicans have huge majorities in all six chambers there. In Kansas the supermajority is legitimate because the state is so red. In Georgia and North Carolina, it is due to massive gerrymandering.

Republicans also have huge majorities in Wisconsin, 22-11 in the Senate and 64-35 in the Assembly. However, the state Supreme Court is considering a case (see above) that might throw the highly gerrymandered maps out, giving the Democrats a shot at taking over either chamber (or both) if the Court hires a special master to draw new maps.

In summary, the main targets are both chambers in Arizona and New Hampshire and the Pennsylvania Senate. (V)

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