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   Can Dems Win the State Legs in '06?

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6/20/2006 11:00 am

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Entered 6/20/2006, Updated 6/20/2006

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Oceans of ink (and mountains of bytes) have been used in discussing the Democrats' prospects for winning control of the U.S. Congress in November. But not so much has been written about another critical goal for Dems in '06 --- winning control of state legislatures. This is an important goal, not only because state legislatures pass laws that affect all of our lives, but also because they are the key to redistricting for the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans have a less than one percent lead (62 seats) over Democrats in holding the nation's 7382 state legislative seats. The GOP has the majority of both houses in 21 states, compared to 17 for the Democrats. Eleven states have divided control and the unicameral Nebraska legislature has nonpartisan elections. Democrats could win control of a majority of state legislatures, but it will require a broad rout of the GOP. Their best chances for pick-ups, numerically speaking, are AK (-4 Senate); IN (-4 House); IA (-2 House and tie Senate); MN (-2 House); MT (tie house); NV (-3 Senate); and TN (-1 Senate). However Dems have similarly small majority margins to defend in CO (both houses); Maine (both houses); MS (House); MT (Senate); NJ (Senate); NM (Senate); OK (Senate) and WA (Senate).


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