States expecting fierce legislative campaigns in 2016

By By The Associated Press 11.07.2015 news > Politics

With the November 2016 elections just one year away, Republicans, Democrats and outside groups are preparing for expensive battles over state legislative seats.

Increasing activity by independent groups could push next year’s campaign fundraising totals past those of previous election cycles. Since 2006, contributions to state legislative candidates have ranged between $900 million and $1 billion.

In some states, control of a chamber is at stake. In others, parties are seeking to gain or thwart a supermajority. Elsewhere, one party is merely looking to cut into the other’s majority. Some of the states expected to attract the most legislative interest in the coming year:


— Republicans control both chambers but hold a relatively slim 17-13 majority in the Senate, creating an opportunity for Democrats.


— Democrats are just one Senate seat and two Assembly seats away from gaining the two-thirds supermajorities needed to raise taxes, pass emergency legislation and override gubernatorial vetoes without the need for any Republican votes.


— Both the House and Senate are up for grabs. Republicans currently hold an 18-17 Senate majority while Democrats hold a 34-31 House advantage.


— Republicans hold sizeable House and Senate majorities, but Democrats are hoping to pick up some seats as part of a long-range goal of gaining control of one chamber before the 2021 redistricting.


— Democrats currently hold a three-fifths supermajority in both chambers needed to override vetoes of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. A gain of just one House seat by Republicans would wipe that out.


— Republicans are targeting the Senate, where Democrats currently hold a 26-24 majority that provides them a check against a Republican House and governor. Democrats, meanwhile, are targeting the GOP’s 56-43 House majority.


— Republicans, who already have a sizeable Senate majority, are hoping to flip the House, where Democrats are defending a 54-46 majority.


— Democrats, who control the House, will be looking to regain the Senate majority they lost to Republicans in 2014. The GOP currently controls the upper chamber 20-15.


— Democrats have solid supermajorities in the Legislature. But national Republicans have set a goal of chipping away at those to make it harder for Democrats to get the two-thirds majority needed to override vetoes of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.


— Republicans currently control both chambers and the governorship. The Democrats’ best chance for gains is in the House, where the GOP has a 61-46 majority.


— Both chambers are in play, although it will take decent gains to flip either one. Democrats currently hold a 39-28 Senate majority while Republicans hold a 72-62 House advantage.


— Democrats will be trying to chip away at Republican supermajorities in both chambers, which the GOP has used to ding Democrat Jay Nixon with the distinction as the governor with the most overridden vetoes in state history.


— Democrats are targeting both chambers, although Republicans hold a 29-21 Senate majority and 59-41 House majority.


— Democrats are looking to wrest control from Republicans, who currently hold an 11-10 Senate majority and 25-17 majority in the Assembly.

New Hampshire:

— Both chambers are controlled by Republicans, but Democrats are looking for gains in a presidential election year that typically bodes well for them. The House has a history of frequent flips in party control.

New Mexico:

— Political parties will be battling over both chambers. Republicans currently hold a 37-33 House majority while Democrats have a 25-17 majority in the Senate.

New York:

— Democrats, who already hold a commanding House majority, are looking to reverse a slim Republican majority in the Senate.

North Carolina:

— Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers, but Democrats are hoping to cut into those margins as part of a long-term goal of controlling at least one chamber by the next round of redistricting.


— Republicans hold a roughly two-thirds majority in both chambers, but Democrats are looking to regain seats in the House, where they lost the majority in the 2010 elections.


— National Republicans are targeting both legislative chambers with hopes of cutting into Democratic majorities that currently stand at 18-12 in the Senate and 35-25 in the House.


— Republicans hold majorities in both chambers but have targeted their 120-83 House advantage as a defensive priority against potential Democratic gains.


— With an open governor’s race also on the ballot, Republicans are targeting both legislative chambers with a goal of chipping away at sizeable Democratic majorities.


— Both chambers are in play in the closely divided Legislature. Republicans currently hold a 26-23 Senate majority, thanks partly to one Democrat who caucuses with them, while Democrats control the House 51-47.

West Virginia:

— Democrats are looking to regain the Senate after Republicans wrested control of both chambers from them following the 2014 elections. The GOP holds a slim 18-16 Senate majority but has a comfortable House advantage.


— Democrats are hoping for gains in the Senate in a state currently under full Republican control. The GOP’s Senate majority stands at 19-14.


This story has been corrected to show the Wisconsin GOP has a 19-14 majority in the state Senate, not 18-14.

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