Fewer 2020 incumbents misplaced normal elections for state legislative seats than in any yr within the final decade, in keeping with a brand new evaluation from the political web site Ballotpedia.
But whereas incumbents have been changing into safer basically elections, they have been extra weak in primaries than in any yr since 2012 — the final time redistricting pressured many elected officers into districts with fellow incumbents — an indication of the rising polarization of American politics, notably within the Republican Get together.
Practically twice as many Republican state legislators misplaced major contests (94) than normal elections (52) final yr, and practically thrice as many Democrats have been ousted in November (165) than in get together primaries (60).
General, simply 227 of 4,823 incumbents who appeared on normal election ballots this yr misplaced — the smallest numbers since Ballotpedia started monitoring information in 2010. Fewer state legislative incumbents usually lose in presidential election years, a sign that voters who select one get together for president persist with the identical get together for different workplaces on the poll.
Final yr’s elections additionally marked the primary time since 1944 that solely two statehouse chambers — the New Hampshire Home and Senate, which each flipped from Democratic to Republican majorities — modified partisan management.
“You’d name this election a draw,” stated Doug Kronaizl, who carried out the Ballotpedia research of state legislative outcomes. “You didn’t see a bunch of flips. It was only a wrestle within the trenches so far as partisan management.”
With redistricting battles looming when the Census Bureau delivers its 2020 information to states later this yr, management of redistricting modified in solely three states final yr: New Hampshire; Vermont, the place Democrats misplaced a veto-proof majority within the state legislature; and Virginia, the place voters accredited a nonpartisan redistricting fee.