The Democrats have been trying to catch up since 2010, when they were outspent, outsmarted and lost control of 21 chambers. During Mr Obama’s two terms, Democrats lost around 1,000 of the 4,000-odd state seats they held in 2009 (there are 7,383 in all). This cost them not only control of the policy agenda but also, in many states, control of the power to draw congressional-district boundaries.
A decade later Democrats control 39 out of 98 chambers (not counting Nebraska’s unicameral, non-partisan legislature) and have regained 450 of those lost seats. On the watch of Jessica Post, head of the dlcc, they have taken ten state-legislative chambers and made inroads in North Carolina and Texas. They are unlikely to match the Republicans’ success in 2010, but only because they have already won the easiest targets. At stake, once again, is control over redistricting. David Abrams of the Republican State Leadership Committee says this means “there’s a decade of power hanging in the balance” on November 3rd.
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