Congress isn’t the only place Democrats are hoping to make large gains in this November’s elections. State legislatures are often overlooked, but they matter—from forced ultrasounds to minimum wage and paid sick leave to gerrymandered congressional seats, we see state legislatures in action every day.
Republicans hold 1,000 more state legislative seats than Democrats, giving them control of two-thirds of state legislative chambers across the country. This election could shift the balance in some key states:
Democrats are within five seats of reclaiming control of state Senates in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Wisconsin.
The party is only a handful of seats away from winning control of lower chambers in Michigan and New Hampshire, too.
Some of the early signs of a coming blue wave have been in special elections for state legislative seats, allowing Democrats to make inroads in a few states. But just as the U.S. House is gerrymandered, so are state legislatures, making the task of flipping chambers difficult—for one of the very reasons that it’s so important.