2020 was the safest year for state legislators in a decade, according to a study.


Fewer 2020 incumbents lost general elections for state legislative seats than in any year of the past decade, according to a new analysis from political website Ballotpedia.

Yet as incumbents became safer in general elections, they were more vulnerable in primaries than in any year since 2012 – the last time the redistribution forced many elected to move to districts. with other incumbents – a sign of the growing polarization of American politics, especially in the Republican Party.

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Nearly twice as many Republican state lawmakers lost the primary elections (94) than the general election (52) last year, and nearly three times as many Democrats were ousted in November (165) than in the primaries party (60).

Overall, only 227 of the 4,823 incumbents who participated in the general election this year lost – the smallest number since Ballotpedia began tracking data in 2010. Fewer incumbents typically lose during election years presidential, an indication that voters who choose a party for president remain with the same party for other offices on the ballot.

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Last year’s election also marked the first time since 1944 that only two state chambers – the New Hampshire House and the Senate, both of which have gone from a Democratic majority to a Republican majority – have changed control. partisan.

“You would call this election a draw,” said Doug Kronaizl, who led the Ballotpedia study of state legislative results. “You haven’t seen a bunch of flips. It was just a fight in the trenches over partisan control.

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With redistribution battles looming when the Census Bureau provides its 2020 data to states later this year, redistribution control only changed in three states last year: New Hampshire; Vermont, where Democrats lost a veto-proof majority in the state legislature; and Virginia, where voters approved a non-partisan redistribution commission.


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