Diary

Meanwhile, down in the states: Tuesday's Results in State legislatures & more

Not surprisingly, the GOP also lost ground in state legislatures on Tuesday. However, given the circumstances, the losses were relatively modest: we lost 76 state senators and representatives, out of a grand total of 7380 nationwide. Speaking simply in terms of our own, we lost a net of 8 of 897 state senate seats held by Republicans, and 68 of 2398 state representatives.

For more, hop below the fold.

Republicans lost control of the Ohio House, the New York Senate, the Delaware House, the Wisconsin House, and the Nevada Senate. The Montana House went from a 50-49 GOP edge with 1 Constitution Party representative, to a 50/50 GOP/Democrat tie – but this could yet change due to recounts. The Alaska Senate went from an 11-9 GOP edge to a 10-10 tie. Republicans’ hold on the Texas legislature could change due to recounts – currently, it looks like the GOP will hold a 76-74 edge.

But Republicans took control of the both Houses of the Tennessee legislature, the Oklahoma Senate, and the Montana Senate. Republicans also picked up 18 seats in New Hampshire’s massive 400 member state House. Democrats will control 60 state legislative chambers next year, Republicans 36. Two are tied and one state, Nebraska, has a non-partisan legislature (in reality dominated by Republicans). The National Conference of State Legislators has a neat page with the breakdown.

In gubernatorial races, the GOP lost a net of one seat, losing the Missouri governorship. Republicans came up just a little short in two tough races, for North Carolina’s open seat, and in Washington state, where Dino Rossi’s rematch with Christine Gregoire, who beat Rossi in 2004 after a number of shenanigans and two recounts, came up short. In the other eight races, each party successfully defended four seats.

The longtime joke about State Attorneys General is that the abbreviation “AG” really stands for “Aspiring Governor.” It does seem to be a popular platform for a run for the top job.

The heartbreaker AG race came in West Virginia, where trial lawyers favorite and long-time incumbent Darrell McGraw held off Dan Greear by fewer than 5000 votes. Democratic incumbents also won in Vermont, and North Carolina. Republican incumbents Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania and Rob McKenna in Washington were re-elected, as was Mark Shurtleft in Utah.

In some open seat races, Greg Zeller won an easy victory in Indiana to keep the office in GOP hands; but Republicans lost a pair of close ones when Chris Koster defeated Mike Gibbons 53-47 in Missouri and Steve Bullock defeated Tim Fox 52-48 in Montana to hold those seats for Democrats. In Ohio, where the Democratic AG Mark Dann resigned after a series of sex harassment and other scandals, Democratic State Treasurer Richard Cordray easily defeated former U.S. Attorney Michael Crites two complete the last two year’s of Dann’s term. This was a classy race between two talented public servants. Democrat John Kroger won in Oregon.