2020 United States state legislative elections

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2020 United States state legislative elections
Flag of the United States.svg
  2019 November 3, 20202021 

86 legislative chambers in 44 states
9 legislative chambers in 6 districts and territories

US2020stateupperhouses.svg
Map of upper house elections:
  Democrats retained control
  Republicans gained control
  Republicans retained control
  No regularly-scheduled elections
  Officially non-partisan legislature

US2020statelowerhouses.svg
Map of lower house elections:
  Democrats retained control
  Republicans gained control
  Republicans retained control
  Coalition retained control
  No regularly-scheduled elections
  Officially non-partisan legislature

The 2020 United States state legislative elections were held on November 3, 2020 for 86 state legislative chambers in 44 states. Across the fifty states, approximately 65 percent of all upper house seats and 85 percent of all lower house seats were up for election. Nine legislative chambers in the five permanently-inhabited U.S. territories and the federal district of Washington, D.C. also held elections. The elections took place concurrently with several other federal, state, and local elections, including the presidential election, U.S. Senate elections, U.S. House elections, and gubernatorial elections.

Contents

Prior to the elections, Democrats held 15 trifectas (control of the governor's office and legislative chambers), Republicans held 21 trifectas, and 14 states have a divided government. Nationwide, Republicans controlled approximately 60 percent of the legislative chambers and 52 percent of the legislative seats. [1] These elections had a major impact on the 2020 redistricting cycle, as many states held their final legislative elections prior to the decennial drawing of new congressional and state legislative districts.

Due to the impact the redistricting cycle will have on partisan control of Congress and state legislatures, the Democrats, who had not been in control of a majority of state legislatures across the U.S. since 2010, had hoped to retake control of key chambers in advance. However, despite fundraising efforts and projections of several Republican-held chambers in competitive states flipping, the Democrats failed to flip any state chambers, which they attributed to gerrymandering in the wake of the 2010 elections, as well as state laws restricting voting, President Donald Trump being on the ballot, and the Democrats' campaigning methods. [2] [3] [4] [5] Following the election, Republicans have control of redistricting in 20 state governments, totalling 188 House districts, whereas Democrats have control in states with a total of 73 districts. [6] Overall, these elections saw the fewest partisan changes in state legislatures since 1944. [7]

Summary table

States holding regularly-scheduled legislative and gubernatorial elections in 2020:

Governor and all legislative chambers
All legislative chambers
A portion of legislative chambers
None USLegislativeElections2020.png
States holding regularly-scheduled legislative and gubernatorial elections in 2020:
  Governor and all legislative chambers
  All legislative chambers
  A portion of legislative chambers
  None
Seats parties gained in the lower houses 2020 elections:
Democratic majority and Democrats lost seats
Democratic majority and Democrats gained or held seats
Republican majority and Republicans lost seats
Republican majority and Republicans gained or held seats
Coalition majority and lost a seat
No election
Non-partisan US2020statelowerhouses gain.svg
Seats parties gained in the lower houses 2020 elections:
  Democratic majority and Democrats lost seats
  Democratic majority and Democrats gained or held seats
  Republican majority and Republicans lost seats
  Republican majority and Republicans gained or held seats
  Coalition majority and lost a seat
  No election
  Non-partisan

Regularly-scheduled elections were held in 86 of the 99 state legislative chambers in the United States. Nationwide, regularly-scheduled elections were held for 5,876 of the 7,383 legislative seats. Many legislative chambers held elections for all seats, but some legislative chambers that use staggered elections held elections for only a portion of the total seats in the chamber. [8] The chambers not up for election either hold regularly-scheduled elections in odd-numbered years, or have four-year terms and hold all regularly-scheduled elections in presidential midterm election years.

Note that this table only covers regularly-scheduled elections; additional special elections took place concurrently with these regularly-scheduled elections.

StateUpper House [8] Lower House [8]
Seats upTotal% upTermSeats upTotal% upTerm
Alabama 03504010504
Alaska 102050440401002
Arizona 3030100260601002
Arkansas 1735492/4 [lower-alpha 1] 1001001002
California 204050480801002
Colorado 183551465651002
Connecticut 363610021511511002
Delaware 1121522/4 [lower-alpha 1] 41411002
Florida 2040502/4 [lower-alpha 1] 1201201002
Georgia 565610021801801002
Hawaii 1325522/4 [lower-alpha 1] 51511002
Idaho 3535100270701002
Illinois 2059342/4 [lower-alpha 1] 1181181002
Indiana 25505041001001002
Iowa 25505041001001002
Kansas 404010041251251002
Kentucky 19385041001001002
Louisiana 03904010504
Maine 353510021511511002
Maryland 04704014104
Massachusetts 404010021601601002
Michigan 038041101101002
Minnesota 67671002/4 [lower-alpha 1] 1341341002
Mississippi 05204012204
Missouri 17345041631631002
Montana 25505041001001002
Nebraska 25 [lower-alpha 2] 49 [lower-alpha 2] 51 [lower-alpha 2] 4N/A (unicameral)
Nevada 102148442421002
New Hampshire 242410024004001002
New Jersey 04002/4 [lower-alpha 1] 08002
New Mexico 4242100470701002
New York 636310021501501002
North Carolina 505010021201201002
North Dakota 23474944794504
Ohio 163348499991002
Oklahoma 24485041011011002
Oregon 153050460601002
Pennsylvania 25505042032031002
Rhode Island 3838100275751002
South Carolina 464610041241241002
South Dakota 3535100270701002
Tennessee 163348499991002
Texas 1631522/4 [lower-alpha 1] 1501501002
Utah 152952475751002
Vermont 303010021501501002
Virginia 04004010002
Washington 254951498981002
West Virginia 17345041001001002
Wisconsin 163348499991002
Wyoming 153050460601002
Total1281197265N/A4595541185N/A

Electoral predictions

Partisan control of state and territorial governments following the 2020 elections:

Democratic trifecta maintained
Republican trifecta maintained
Republican trifecta established
Divided government established
Divided government maintained
Officially non-partisan legislature
Partisan control TBD USStateandTerritorialControl2020elections.svg
Partisan control of state and territorial governments following the 2020 elections:
  Democratic trifecta maintained
  Republican trifecta maintained
  Republican trifecta established
  Divided government established
  Divided government maintained
  Officially non-partisan legislature
  Partisan control TBD

Louis Jacobson of The Cook Political Report predicted that Republican-held chambers that could potentially flip to Democratic control included both chambers in Arizona, the Florida Senate, both chambers in Georgia, the Iowa House, the Michigan House, the Minnesota Senate, both chambers in North Carolina, both chambers in Pennsylvania, and the Texas House. He predicted that Republicans could potentially gain control of the Maine Senate, the Minnesota House, and both chambers in New Hampshire, all of which were controlled by the Democratic Party. Additionally, Jacobson predicted that Republicans could win control of the Alaska House, which was currently controlled by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. [9]

Writing for Sabato's Crystal Ball, Chaz Nuttycombe highlighted the Alaska House and the New Hampshire Senate as the top pick-up opportunities for Republicans, and lists the Arizona House, the Arizona Senate, the Iowa House, the Michigan House, the Minnesota Senate, the North Carolina House, the North Carolina Senate, the Pennsylvania House, and the Texas House as the top pick-up opportunities for Democrats. [10]

State summaries

Alaska

Half of the seats of the Alaska Senate and all of the seats of the Alaska House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. The Alaska Senate is controlled by Republicans, while the Alaska House of Representatives is controlled by a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. [11] The Alaska House of Representatives is currently the only state legislative chamber controlled by a cross-partisan coalition.

Arizona

All of the seats of the Arizona Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans have a government trifecta with control of the governorship and both state legislative chambers.

Arkansas

Half of the seats of the Arkansas Senate and all of the seats of the Arkansas House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

California

Half of the seats of the California State Senate and all of the seats of the California State Assembly were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Colorado

Half of the seats of the Colorado Senate and all of the seats of the Colorado House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Connecticut

All of the seats of the Connecticut State Senate and the Connecticut House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Delaware

Half of the seats of the Delaware Senate and all of the seats of the Delaware House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Florida

Half of the seats of the Florida Senate and all of the seats of the Florida House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Georgia

All of the seats of the Georgia State Senate and the Georgia House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Hawaii

Half of the seats of the Hawaii Senate and all of the seats of the Hawaii House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Idaho

All of the seats of the Idaho Senate and the Idaho House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Illinois

One third of the seats of the Illinois Senate and all of the seats of the Illinois House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Indiana

Half of the seats of the Indiana Senate and all of the seats of the Indiana House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Iowa

Half of the seats of the Iowa Senate and all of the seats of the Iowa House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Kansas

All of the seats of the Kansas Senate and the Kansas House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers.

Kentucky

Half of the seats of the Kentucky Senate and all of the seats of the Kentucky House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers. Because the Kentucky legislature can override gubernatorial vetoes with a simple majority vote, Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the state legislature. [12]

Maine

All of the seats of the Maine Senate and the Maine House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Massachusetts

All of the seats of the Massachusetts Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats retained control of both chambers.

Michigan

All of the seats of the Michigan House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. The Michigan Senate did not hold regularly-scheduled elections in 2020. Republicans maintained control of the house of representatives.

House of Representatives
PartyBeforeAfterChange
Republican 5858Steady2.svg
Democratic 5252Steady2.svg
Total110110

Minnesota

All of the seats of the Minnesota Senate and the Minnesota House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans maintained control of the senate, while Democrats maintained control of the house of representatives.

Missouri

Half of the seats of the Missouri Senate and all of the seats of the Missouri House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Montana

Half of the seats of the Montana Senate and all of the seats of the Montana House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans held control of both chambers, and also gained a government trifecta by winning the 2020 Montana gubernatorial election.

Nebraska

Nebraska is the only U.S. state with a unicameral legislature; half of the seats of the Nebraska Legislature were up for election in 2020. Nebraska is also unique in that its legislature is officially non-partisan and holds non-partisan elections, although the Democratic and Republican parties each endorse legislative candidates.

Legislature
PartyBeforeAfterChange
Republican 3032Increase2.svg 2
Democratic 1817Decrease2.svg 1
Independent 10Decrease2.svg 1
Total4949

Nevada

Half of the seats of the Nevada Senate and all of the seats of the Nevada Assembly were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

New Hampshire

All of the seats of the New Hampshire Senate and the New Hampshire House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans gained control of both chambers, establishing a government trifecta.

New Mexico

All of the seats of the New Mexico Senate and the New Mexico House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

New York

All of the seats of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly were up for election in 2020. Democrats held control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

North Carolina

All of the seats of the North Carolina Senate and the North Carolina House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers.

North Dakota

Half of the seats of the North Dakota Senate and the North Dakota House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Ohio

Half of the seats of the Ohio Senate and all of the seats of the Ohio House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Oklahoma

Half of the seats of the Oklahoma Senate and all of the seats of the Oklahoma House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Oregon

Half of the seats of the Oregon State Senate and all of the seats of the Oregon House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Pennsylvania

Half of the seats of the Pennsylvania State Senate and all of the seats of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers.

Rhode Island

All of the seats of the Rhode Island Senate and the Rhode Island House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

South Carolina

All of the seats of the South Carolina Senate and the South Carolina House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

South Dakota

All of the seats of the South Dakota Senate and the South Dakota House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Tennessee

Half of the seats of the Tennessee Senate and all of the seats of the Tennessee House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Texas

Half of the seats of the Texas Senate and all of the seats of the Texas House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Utah

Half of the seats of the Utah State Senate and all of the seats of the Utah House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Vermont

All of the seats of the Vermont Senate and the Vermont House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats retained control of both chambers.

Washington

Half of the seats of the Washington State Senate and all of the seats of the Washington House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Democrats retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

West Virginia

Half of the seats of the West Virginia Senate and all of the seats of the West Virginia House of Delegates were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Wisconsin

Half of the seats of the Wisconsin State Senate and all of the seats of the Wisconsin State Assembly were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers.

Wyoming

Half of the seats of the Wyoming Senate and all of the seats of the Wyoming House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans retained control of both chambers, maintaining a government trifecta.

Territorial and federal district summaries

American Samoa

All of the seats of the American Samoa Senate and the American Samoa House of Representatives are up for election. Members of the senate serve four-year terms, while members of the house of representative serve two-year terms. Gubernatorial and legislative elections are conducted on a nonpartisan basis in American Samoa.

Guam

All of the seats of the unicameral Legislature of Guam are up for election. All members of the legislature serve a two-year term.

Legislature
PartyBeforeAfterChange
Democratic 108Decrease2.svg 2
Republican 57Increase2.svg 2
Total1515

Northern Mariana Islands

A portion of the seats of the Northern Mariana Islands Senate, and all of the seats of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives, are up for election. Members of the senate serve either four-year terms, while members of the house serve two-year terms.

Puerto Rico

All of the seats of the Senate of Puerto Rico and the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico are up for election in 2020. Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives both serve four-year terms. The New Progressive Party lost control of both chambers, although the Popular Democratic Party only managed to gain majority control in the House due to the number of third party candidates elected.

U.S. Virgin Islands

All of the seats of the unicameral Legislature of the Virgin Islands are up for election in 2020. All members of the legislature serve a two-year term.

Legislature
PartyBeforeAfterChange
Democratic 1310Decrease2.svg 3
Independent 25Increase2.svg 3
Total1515

Washington, D.C.

The Council of the District of Columbia serves as the legislative branch of the federal district of Washington, D.C. Half of the council seats are up for election in 2020. Council members serve four-year terms. Democrats retained supermajority control of the council.

Council
PartyBeforeAfterChange
Democratic 1111Steady2.svg
Independent 22Steady2.svg
Total1313

Table of partisan control

Prior to the 2020 elections, Republicans control approximately 60 percent of the state legislative chambers and 52 percent of the state legislative seats in the United States. [1] Nationwide, approximately 40 percent of the population of the United States (including federal districts and territories) live in states with Republican control of the state government, 37 percent live in states with Democratic control, and 22 percent live in states with divided government. [lower-alpha 5]

This table shows the partisan control of governor's offices and state legislative chambers in each state. In situations where one party controls the governor's office and both legislative chambers (known as a "government trifecta"), [15] that party is marked as having "overall" control of the state. Otherwise, overall control of the state is marked as being divided.

Subdivision [16] [17] Before 2020 elections [18] [lower-alpha 6] After 2020 elections
Subdivision PVI % Pop. GovernorUpper houseLower houseOverall Governor Upper houseLower houseOverall
 
Alabama R+141.48RepRep 27–8Rep 75–28RepRepRepRepRep
Alaska R+90.22RepRep 13–7Coal. 22–17 [lower-alpha 7] DivRepRepCoal.Div
Arizona R+52.19RepRep 17–13Rep 31–29RepRepRepRepRep
Arkansas R+150.91RepRep 26–9Rep 75–23RepRepRepRepRep
California D+1211.91DemDem 29–11Dem 61–17–1DemDemDemDemDem
Colorado D+11.74DemDem 19–16Dem 41–24DemDemDemDemDem
Connecticut D+61.07DemDem 22–14Dem 91–60DemDemDemDemDem
Delaware D+60.29DemDem 12–9Dem 26–15DemDemDemDemDem
Florida R+26.47RepRep 23–17Rep 73–46RepRepRepRepRep
Georgia R+53.2RepRep 35–21Rep 105–75RepRepRepRepRep
Hawaii D+180.43DemDem 24–1Dem 46–5DemDemDemDemDem
Idaho R+190.54RepRep 28–7Rep 56–14RepRepRepRepRep
Illinois D+73.82DemDem 40–19Dem 73–44DemDemDemDemDem
Indiana R+92.03RepRep 40–10Rep 67–33RepRepRepRepRep
Iowa R+30.95RepRep 32–18Rep 53–47RepRepRepRepRep
Kansas R+130.88DemRep 29–11Rep 84–41DivDemRepRepDiv
Kentucky R+151.35DemRep 28–10Rep 62–38DivDemRepRepDiv
Louisiana R+111.4DemRep 27–12Rep 68–35–2DivDemRepRepDiv
Maine D+30.41DemDem 21–14Dem 88–57–6DemDemDemDemDem
Maryland D+121.82RepDem 32–14Dem 99–42DivRepDemDemDiv
Massachusetts D+122.09RepDem 36–4Dem 127–31–1DivRepDemDemDiv
Michigan