The Battle for State Legislatures – Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Katie R. Ochoa
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Dear Readers: Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Louis Jacobson is analyzing several categories of state-level races for us this cycle. After taking a first look at attorney general and secretary of state races, he is now assessing the battles for state legislatures this year. The Republicans have built a robust edge in overall state legislative control since the 2010 GOP wave, and they could add to it this year, although both sides are defending some competitive chambers. Abortion is a considerable wild card in the state legislative picture: The potential end of Roe vs. Wade would empower the states to decide the issue, which red and blue states will approach in immensely different ways.

The Editors

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE

– In addition to usually facing midterm headwinds in federal races, the presidential party also often struggles in state legislative races in those years.

– However, Republicans have already made such impressive state legislative gains over the past dozen years that they do not have a ton of Democratic-held chambers to target.

–Republicans could plausibly flip chambers in states like Maine and Minnesota, while a better redistricting map could help Democrats in Michigan, a key battleground.

2022’s state legislative landscape

In the coming years, state legislatures will almost certainly play a crucial role in American politics. Given the longstanding polarization and gridlock in Washington, D.C., state lawmakers will decide many key policies state-by-state — particularly on reproductive health issues if the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade this year. Legislatures could also try to meddle in presidential elections, as then-President Donald Trump asked some to do after the 2020 election.

Two years ago, when Trump was president and inspiring Democratic opposition, it looked like Democrats might be able to make gains up and down the ballot. On the eve of the 2020 election, the Democrats seemed to have a plausible chance of flipping as many as 15 Republican-held legislative chambers, compared to just 5 Democratic-held chambers that looked vulnerable to a GOP takeover. National Democratic organizations and donors went all in on “flipping everything.”

In the end, however, voters pulled the lever for Joe Biden — while hedging their bets by carrying Republicans to gains at almost every other level, including state legislatures. When all the ballots were counted, Democrats failed to flip a single GOP-held chamber; the GOP flipped 2, both in New Hampshire.

Today, the playing field looks likely to be considerably smaller.

This is my first handicapping of state legislative control for the 2022 election cycle. It represents the 11th cycle I have handicapped state legislature control, dating back to the 2002 cycle. (Previous versions have been published in the Cook Political Report, the Rothenberg Political Report, Stateline.org, and Governing magazine.)

Our analysis is based on interviews with dozens of state and national political sources. We rate chambers on the following scale: Safe Republican, Likely Republican, Lean Republican, Toss-up, Lean Democratic, Likely Democratic and Safe Democratic. The categories labeled “Lean” and “Toss-up” are considered competitive or in play. “Likely” chambers aren’t expected to shift partisan control, but they could see seat gains by the minority party or are marginally less solid than “Safe” for the majority party.

At this point, we see 4 chambers as Toss-ups. Of these, 3 of 4 are held by Democrats and are considered prime GOP targets of opportunity: the Maine Senate and House, and the Minnesota House. Meanwhile, the fourth Toss-up is the Democrats’ best target: the Republican-held Michigan Senate.

Meanwhile, 3 chambers rate as Lean Republican. One is Democratic-held, and thus leans toward a flip: the Alaska House. (Control of the Alaska House is difficult to characterize: It has a coalition leadership with a breakaway Republican speaker and a Democratic majority leader, even though Republicans nominally control more seats. We’re considering it Democratic-controlled for the purpose of this analysis.)

The other 2 Lean Republican chambers are the Michigan House and the Minnesota Senate. Both are currently held by the GOP. (Not counting Alaska, Minnesota is the only state that has elections scheduled this year that has its 2 chambers under divergent partisan control — Virginia is another, but it holds legislative elections in odd-numbered years.)

Finally, we rate 3 chambers Lean Democratic: the Colorado Senate, Nevada Senate, and Oregon Senate.

All told, that’s 10 chambers that rate as competitive — a relatively small number for recent cycles. Most of them are held by Democrats, putting the party on defense.

Table 1: Most competitive state legislative chambers

For the sake of comparison, our first handicapping of the 2020 cycle found significantly more competitive chambers — 15 — and the Republicans held two-thirds of them.

And in our first handicapping of the 2018 cycle, we found 18 competitive chambers — almost double the number we are seeing at this point for 2022. A majority — 10 of the 18 chambers — were held by Republicans.

In other words, the competitive landscape for legislative control in 2022 is notably smaller, and it’s more tilted against Democrats than it has been in recent cycles.

Currently, the GOP controls 61 legislative chambers while the Democrats control 37 chambers. (We’re counting the Alaska House as Democratic. Nebraska’s unicameral legislature, which is nonpartisan, isn’t included in this count.)

Despite the GOP’s small gains in 2020, they still control fewer chambers than the 65 they held prior to the 2018 election. And that was down from the 68 chambers the GOP held just before the 2016 election.

That said, the GOP has held a consistent edge in state legislative chambers for more than a decade. As recently as the run-up to the 2010 election, Democrats held a 62-to-36 advantage in chambers, but that degree of Democratic control has suffered from a combination of a strong GOP redistricting cycle following the 2010 census and the slow but permanent loss of yellow-dog Democratic chambers in the South.

One way to illustrate how the playing field has shrunk is to look at the chambers that we considered competitive in 2020 but aren’t any longer. They include such Republican-held chambers as the Arizona House and Senate, the Florida Senate, the Iowa House, the North Carolina Senate, the Pennsylvania House and Senate, and the Texas House.

Today — at least for now — we have placed each of these chambers in either the Likely Republican or Safe Republican category. In some of these chambers, it’s possible the Democrats could make some marginal seat gains, but it doesn’t appear that actual chamber control is in reach for the Democratic minority.

A big reason for these shifts is that the Democrats control the White House, and the party that controls the White House tends to get punished in midterm elections. (Democrats benefited from that dynamic in 2018, making gains when Trump was in the White House.)

President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings only strengthen the likelihood of a weak Democratic showing this fall. Republicans hope to use dissatisfaction with Biden’s performance to claw back some of the suburban areas that had trended Democratic during the past 2 election cycles, even in such blue states as Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, and Oregon. The GOP’s legislative gains during the off-year Virginia election in 2021 serve as a model.

Another factor aiding the GOP this year is redistricting. Favorable maps for Republicans have strengthened the GOP’s hold on districts in Arizona and Texas, among other once-competitive states on the legislative battlefield.

Democratic hopes for state legislative gains in 2022 rest on 2 possibilities. One is that overturning Roe vs. Wade could energize Democrats, including younger voters who have been unhappy with Biden and might not otherwise turn out at the polls. The other is the possibility that high-profile Republican candidates go too far for mainstream opinion, such as doubling down on conspiracies about the 2020 election or backing unpopular policies like ending abortion without exceptions for rape and incest or seeking to criminalize contraception. Some candidates in such states as Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada have taken far-right stands, and if they manage to win the nominations for their offices — or if legislative candidates stake out similarly controversial stands — it could have a negative effect on the GOP’s ability to hold or flip certain chambers.

All in all, however, the size of the state legislative battlefield is small enough in 2022 that it could become a relatively status quo cycle. Only Alaska’s House seems poised to flip control, possibly joined by a Toss-up chamber or two. (The 3 states with at least 1 Toss-up chamber — Maine, Michigan, and Minnesota — have relatively swingy electorates, making flips possible.)

We will reassess these ratings periodically before Election Day as the political environment develops, both nationally and locally. For now, what follows are our ratings and a thumbnail analysis for each state. To see the makeup of each chamber as of earlier this year, take a look at this table from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Map 1 also shows the current party control of state legislatures.

Map 1: Current party control of state legislatures

ALABAMA

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Alabama is one of the safest legislative chambers for Republicans in the nation. There’s no reason to expect significant partisan changes.

ALASKA

Senate: Likely R

House: Lean R (flip)

Partisanship in the Alaska legislature is more fluid than in almost any other state. In the Senate, the GOP has a near-supermajority by the numbers, but as a practical matter, more pragmatic Republicans in the chamber frequently break from the conservatives in the GOP who are aligned with Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R). Republican control, despite the divided caucus, is expected to continue. The situation in the House, however, is particularly unusual: For several years, the chamber has been run by cross-partisan coalitions. These have often been narrow and fragile; it took weeks of negotiations in 2021 to settle on a leadership lineup. Currently, the House is led by a breakaway Republican speaker who was supported by the votes of Democrats and independents; the majority leader is a Democrat and the minority leader is a Republican. In the 2022 elections, a combination of retirements by coalition members, along with growing strength in the GOP’s most conservative wing, puts the coalition at risk. At this point, the House seems likelier to flip from GOP control than remain in coalition hands. (In 2022, Alaska will be using a top-4 primary and a general election with ranked choice voting for the first time.)

ARIZONA

Senate: Likely R

House: Likely R

Arizona’s legislature is one of the most narrowly divided in the nation: Democrats would need only a net gain of 1 seat in each chamber to move into a tie, and a net gain of 2 seats to flip control (the House is 31-29 Republican and the Senate is 16-14 Republican). But despite Biden’s success in flipping Arizona in the 2020 presidential race, the Democrats will have an uphill climb in the state in 2022. The state’s independent redistricting panel helped the GOP’s prospects on the margins: Today’s narrow Republican leads in both chambers could grow to 10 to 14 seats in the House and 4 seats in the Senate. Meanwhile, hard-right candidates might prevail in GOP primaries, turning the ideological nature of the chambers even more conservative. Democrats will have to pin their hopes on the state Republican Party and its nominees being so far to the right that even midterm voters are put off. If that does happen, these chambers could shift back to competitive status before Election Day.

ARKANSAS

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Arkansas is an overwhelmingly Republican state, and with the GOP benefiting marginally from redistricting. Republican dominance should continue.

CALIFORNIA

Senate: Safe D

Assembly: Safe D

Even though California has a redistricting commission, the state remains so blue that there is essentially no chance that Democrats will lose their supermajorities in the legislature. The GOP could gain slightly in the Senate, but in the Assembly, the Democrats could actually gain seats.

COLORADO

Senate: Leans D

House: Likely D

Colorado has shifted towards the Democrats in recent elections, and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis is popular. But Republican gains are possible this year, and they could even flip a chamber. If they do, the Senate is probably the better target, as redistricting changes could hamper the Democratic majority’s outlook. While the GOP could hurt its prospects if it nominates some statewide candidates from the party’s most conservative wing, Colorado is a state worth watching this cycle if the environment remains poor for Democrats.

CONNECTICUT

Senate: Likely D

House: Likely D

Continued Democratic majorities in both chambers are expected. (Among other things, the state budget picture is rosy for the first time in years, aiding the Democrats.) But the party’s legislative margins could be pared back somewhat. While redistricting should not play a major role, some purple suburban districts that went Democratic during the Trump presidency could flip back to the GOP in a more Republican environment.

DELAWARE

Senate: Safe D

House: Safe D

Shifts due to redistricting should be modest, although New Castle County (Wilmington) lost a state House seat to the growth in the more heavily Republican south, which could enable a GOP gain. Delaware has a relatively late filing deadline, and primaries aren’t held until September, so the outlook is a bit fuzzy. In general, though, the Democrats should remain solidly in control.

FLORIDA

Senate: Likely R

House: Safe R

Once a battleground state, Florida looks less and less competitive for Democrats with each new election cycle. The GOP has controlled both chambers of the legislature for almost 3 decades, and that’s not about to stop in 2022, given the poor national midterm environment for the Democrats. In theory, there are competitive seats the Democrats could flip this year, but they may be in better shape to do so later in the decade. Even if Democrats manage to pick up seats in either chamber, it’s unlikely that they’ll be enough to stop the GOP’s Florida juggernaut.

GEORGIA

Senate: Likely R

House: Likely R

Democrats might be able to make some gains in the Atlanta suburbs, but they are unlikely to be sufficiently plentiful to flip either chamber.

HAWAII

Senate: Safe D

House: Safe D

The Democratic advantages in both of Hawaii’s legislative chambers are ridiculously wide, and there’s little sign that the GOP is in a position to make gains.

IDAHO

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Redistricting in Idaho was generally considered evenhanded, but this is still a solidly Republican state; Democrats often have trouble fielding candidates for many seats. Even a shift to the right within GOP ranks shouldn’t be enough to give Democrats many opportunities in Idaho.

ILLINOIS

Senate: Likely D

House: Likely D

Democrats drew Illinois’s maps, and that should give them a solid shot at maintaining their wide majorities. In a good Democratic year, the new maps should allow the Democrats to keep or slightly increase their Senate and House margins; in a bad year, it should help keep their losses down. That said, the size of the Democratic margins is at or near historic highs, and billionaire GOP donor Ken Griffin is investing millions of dollars to elect a Republican governor this year, on a platform highlighting crime and corruption under Democratic leadership. Republican legislative leaders would love to ride Griffin’s money to pick up seats in the suburbs and downstate.

INDIANA

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Republicans have solidified their control in Indiana. The new legislative maps created a few new Democratic opportunities, but ongoing GOP control, and probably even supermajorities, are not at risk.

IOWA

Senate: Likely R

House: Likely R

Iowa has been edging rightward in recent election cycles, and while Democrats could gain some ground in metro areas, GOP advances should continue in more lightly populated areas. Iowa’s nonpartisan redistricting process has pitted dozens of incumbents against each other, but there is no obvious partisan leaning to the changes.

KANSAS

Senate: No races in 2022

House: Safe R

In the Kansas House, the only legislative chamber in the state up this year, major partisan changes are not expected. The GOP should be in good shape for continued control, regardless of what happens in the highly competitive gubernatorial race involving Democrat Laura Kelly.

KENTUCKY

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Don’t expect much weakening, if any, of the strong GOP majorities in solidly red Kentucky.

LOUISIANA

Senate: No races in 2022

House: No races in 2022

Louisiana won’t have legislative races until 2023, but the new maps give the state’s dominant GOP some opportunities to extend their majorities slightly and possibly close in on supermajority status.

MAINE

Senate: Toss-up

House: Toss-up

Maine, which is hosting a hard-fought gubernatorial contest between incumbent Democrat Janet Mills and former GOP Gov. Paul LePage, looks like one of the nation’s prime opportunities for a legislative takeover. The Democrats currently control both chambers, but the GOP might be able to flip one or both chambers, driven by Republican turnout to support LePage’s comeback bid. The openness to ticket-splitting, both in New England generally and Maine specifically, could produce a flipped legislative chamber or 2 even with a Mills victory. Of the 2 chambers, the likelier to flip control might be the Senate. But both are vulnerable.

MARYLAND

Senate: Safe D

House: Safe D

The legislature will remain overwhelmingly Democratic, and despite the national political environment, Democrats have a good shot at maintaining the veto-proof majorities that enabled them to override outgoing GOP Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes.

MASSACHUSETTS

Senate: Safe D

House: Safe D

The Republican caucuses of both chambers are tiny and unlikely to grow much, especially given the pro-Trump push of the state GOP.

MICHIGAN

Senate: Toss-up

House: Lean R

Michigan represents one of the few potential bright spots for Democrats on the state legislative front, largely because the maps that were drawn this year were crafted for the first time by an independent redistricting commission. While Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted in the new maps, what they did get is better for them than the GOP-drawn maps during the previous decade. A tie in the Senate is plausible; the GOP has a modest edge in the House that was just cut to 57-53 Republican as a far-right Republican candidate lost a recent special election in a GOP-leaning seat.

MINNESOTA

Senate: Lean R

House: Toss-up

Minnesota is the rare state in recent years that has had a partisan split in state legislative control. Both of its chambers should be in play this year, but given the national political environment, it would be easier for the GOP to consolidate power by flipping the House than for the Democrats to do it by flipping the Senate. A key battlefield could be the Twin Cities suburbs, where Democratic gains in recent cycles could be whittled back.

MISSISSIPPI

Senate: No races in 2022

House: No races in 2022

Mississippi doesn’t have legislative elections in 2022, but both chambers will remain solidly Republican for the foreseeable future.

MISSOURI

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Missouri has become heavily Republican in recent election cycles, and the party should be able to maintain comfortable control in both chambers.

MONTANA

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Redistricting hasn’t been completed and does not affect legislative contests in Montana until the 2024 cycle. However, both chambers should remain solidly Republican, with the GOP possibly increasing their margins; Democrats have had trouble finding candidates in many districts recently. If the GOP can net 2 more seats in the House, they’ll be able to put constitutional amendments on the ballot without any Democratic votes, or even call a constitutional convention, as some conservatives have been considering. One wild card for 2022 is which party will be helped by the expected drop-off in turnout from a record-setting, all-mail election in 2020. A plausible case could be made for either party.

NEBRASKA

Nebraska has a unicameral, nonpartisan legislature, so we do not handicap it. However, the chamber leans conservative, even if its members are not officially Republicans.

NEVADA

Senate: Lean D

Assembly: Likely D

Democrats have built majorities in both chambers in Nevada, but 2022 will put them to the test. Nevada is a presidential battleground state, and various factors in 2022 — including an erosion of Democratic support among Hispanics, the death of political godfather Harry Reid, and the general churn of the state’s population — could make it hard for Democrats this cycle. Republicans consider Nevada one of their top pickup opportunities. However, the main challenge for the GOP will be the state’s new legislative lines, which were drawn by the Democratic legislature and are slightly more favorable to Democrats in both chambers than the existing maps.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Senate: Likely R

House: Likely R

The GOP should be able to hold both chambers and may be able to increase their majorities in one or both of them, aided by the popularity of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is seeking another term. The state’s enormous House chamber is historically vulnerable to large partisan swings, but it seems unlikely that the Democratic minority will be able to pull that off in the current political environment.

NEW JERSEY

Senate: No races in 2022

Assembly: No races in 2022

New Jersey won’t vote on legislative seats until 2023. The commission-drawn map may provide some opportunities to the GOP minority, but it’s hard to know what the political environment will be in 2023.

NEW MEXICO

Senate: No races in 2022

House: Likely D

In the House, the only chamber up in 2022, the Democrats are poised to maintain solid control. However, it remains unclear what flavor of Democrats will control the chamber. The June primary, combined with the results of contested leadership races, could enable moderate-to-conservative Democrats to win back some influence from progressives, a reversal of the progressive shift in the legislature over the past few years.

NEW YORK

Senate: Likely D

Assembly: Safe D

Democrats in the Assembly have a large edge and should be able to maintain it, although the party’s supermajority could be at risk. In the Senate, there is greater uncertainty because the courts have thrown out the chamber’s redrawn map (along with the congressional map). Thanks to the pro-Republican midterm environment nationally and possible voter fatigue with unified Democratic control in New York state, Republicans had been hoping to eat into the Democrats’ supermajority in the Senate even before the courts ditched the Democratic-led remap. We’ll watch to see what the Democrats’ outlook becomes as the map is finalized and the cycle goes on, but for now, we rate the Senate Likely Democratic.

NORTH CAROLINA

Senate: Likely R

House: Likely R

North Carolina’s new lines are relatively status quo, which benefits the Democrats, because the GOP-controlled legislature wanted a map tilted more heavily toward their party. That said, the GOP should be able to keep its majorities in both chambers, especially given the national political environment. In the state House, the GOP would win a supermajority status of 72 seats out of 120 if they were to sweep all of their projected seats and take 12 out of the 15 seats that lean Democratic but are competitive. Winning a supermajority would be somewhat easier in the 50-seat Senate, where the GOP would need to win 4 of the 6 seats that lean Democratic but are competitive. But whether they can do so depends on how the political tides look closer to Election Day.

NORTH DAKOTA

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

North Dakota Republicans remain in a strong position to maintain their easy majorities in both chambers.

OHIO

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Ohio’s legislative maps remain unsettled due to litigation, but it’s just a question of how Republican-leaning they end up being. It’s expected that the GOP will end up with veto-proof majorities in both chambers.

OKLAHOMA

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

The GOP has supermajorities in both chambers and should be able to keep them in bright red Oklahoma.

OREGON

Senate: Lean D

House: Likely D

In the Oregon Senate, 3 Democrats have vacated or are about to vacate their seats, and a Democrat who won a 2-year unexpired term by unseating a GOP appointee faces a stiff challenge from a sitting GOP House member. Depending on how bad the political environment is, some of these seats could go Republican. (In Oregon, it’s not just the national environment that weighs down on Democrats; Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who is term-limited, has some of the weakest approval ratings of any governor in the nation). The Democratic hold on the House should be more secure, although the party’s three-fifths supermajority for passing revenue-raising measures could be at risk.

PENNSYLVANIA

Senate: Likely R

House: Likely R

Redistricting has modestly benefited Democrats in the Pennsylvania legislature, but the combination of incumbency effects and an advantageous cycle for Republicans make a partisan shift in control unlikely in 2022.

RHODE ISLAND

Senate: Safe D

House: Safe D

Rhode Island’s legislature is heavily Democratic, and should remain so, although the party is likely to continue facing internal splits between moderates and progressives.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Senate: No races in 2022

House: Safe R

South Carolina’s House — the only chamber to be contested in 2022 — should remain safely in GOP hands.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

In solidly Republican South Dakota, the GOP will undoubtedly retain control in both chambers. However, intra-party fights within the GOP will determine just how far to the right those chambers will be. Already, campaign skirmishes between conservative Republicans and even more conservative Republicans have drawn in Republican leaders in both chambers.

TENNESSEE

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Tennessee remains one of the strongest Republican states in the nation. Expect a continued GOP lock on both chambers.

TEXAS

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

In 2020, there were more than 2 dozen Texas legislative seats in play. But in the most recent redistricting, Texas Republicans focused first and foremost on locking down the seats they already held, and then in the Senate they went on the offensive to flip a seat. While this approach made some Democratic legislative seats safer, it has assured a strong edge for the GOP in the Texas legislature going forward, defying the state’s creep toward battleground status in the 2020 presidential race.

UTAH

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Utah will remain a strongly Republican legislature, with redistricting making Republican seats more Republican and Democratic seats more Democratic. Meanwhile, multiple Republican legislators are being primaried this year, in large part due to their votes over a transgender sports bill in Utah. The results of these primaries could help determine just how conservative the incoming Republican caucuses are.

VERMONT

Senate: Safe D

House: Safe D

Democrats don’t have much to worry about in Vermont. In fact, they could end up gaining a seat in the Senate due to one seat shifting from the Republican Northeast Kingdom to the Democratic northwestern part of the state.

VIRGINIA

Senate: No races in 2022

House: No races in 2022

Neither chamber is up in Virginia this year, although there is an ongoing lawsuit that is seeking to force what would effectively be a special election for the entire state House this year (last year’s election was held under the state’s old House map, but there is a new map in place now that reflects the 2020 census). The shape of the 2023 elections, when both the House and the Senate will be contested under the new, court-drawn lines, will depend at least in part on what voters think of GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin as the election approaches.

WASHINGTON

Senate: Safe D

House: Safe D

Washington’s redistricting, handled by an independent commission, did not dramatically change the lines, though Republicans in safer districts could head rightward and Democrats may see increased racial and ethnic diversity in their caucuses. Republicans may benefit from the national headwinds, but in general, dramatic changes don’t seem likely at this point.

WEST VIRGINIA

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Democrats were already struggling in West Virginia, and now they must grapple with the consequences of the state’s decision to end its use of multi-member districts, some of which are based in Democratic strongholds. The GOP edge in the legislature could continue to grow.

WISCONSIN

Senate: Safe R

Assembly: Safe R

Wisconsin already had one of the most secure Republican maps of the 2010s in any competitive state, thanks to a combination of favorable geography and aggressive line-drawing by GOP majorities. But the new maps are even stronger for the GOP. Longtime Wisconsin political journalist Craig Gilbert calculated that the new maps, which were drawn by GOP legislators and approved by the conservative 4-3 majority on the state Supreme Court, “all but guarantees huge GOP majorities in both the state Assembly and state Senate,” including a likely two-thirds supermajority in the Senate.

WYOMING

Senate: Safe R

House: Safe R

Wyoming is modestly expanding the size of its legislature in 2022, and this might help the Democrats make some gains on the margin. But the legislature, like the state, is dominated by Republicans, so even if these gains materialize, it won’t make much of a practical difference.

Louis Jacobson is a Senior Columnist for Sabato’s Crystal Ball. He is also the senior correspondent at the fact-checking website PolitiFact and is senior author of the Almanac of American Politics 2022. He was senior author of the Almanac’s 2016, 2018, and 2020 editions and a contributing writer for the 2000 and 2004 editions.

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