Will These Four State Governments Flip?

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According to aggregate data, Democrats have a significant chance of winning a federal government trifecta of power in the presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives. But the 2020 election could also introduce new Democratic trifectas in state governments. Here are some states that are currently Republican-controlled that could flip.

1. Texas

Texas is a battleground state at every level of government this year. Currently, Texas is ruled by a Republican trifecta of power. But recently, a Democratic super PAC has almost doubled its commitment to flipping the Texas House of Representatives and contributed $12 million toward legislative races for the election cycle. 

In 2018, incumbent Ted Cruz (R-TX) won the Texas Senate race against Democrat Beto O’ Rourke, 50.9 percent to 48.3 percent. Democrats also flipped 12 state House seats that election, decreasing Republican influence.

The Democratic party needs nine more seats to take control of the Texas House for the first time since 2001. This partisan shift is feasible, as Texans have become more left-leaning in recent years. In the 2018 Texas Senate race, O’Rourke carried nine state House seats that are currently held by Republicans. Democrats are targeting 22 seats, and they also need to defend the 12 they picked up in 2018.

The election results in Texas will affect approximately 27.9 million people. It will also inform the drawing of almost 40 congressional districts in the upcoming redistricting process.

2. Arizona

Arizona is another state ruled where Democrats may break a Republican power trifecta. Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) has two years left in his term and cannot run for reelection since Arizona governors cannot serve more than two terms. Additionally, Ducey’s approval ratings have fallen in several polls, perhaps due to the state’s treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic, which strongly affected the state in the late spring and summer.

According to polls, Arizona Republicans are threatened in the Senate too. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is currently carrying three state Senate seats currently held by Republicans, and three Democrat seats is the exact amount the Democratic Party needs to win the Arizona Senate. Additionally, Republicans have only a narrow advantage in the state House of Representatives (31 seats to 29), giving the Democrats a stronger-than-usual chance to win control for the first time in 54 years.

3. Minnesota

There may be a chance for the Democratic party to win a trifecta of power in Minnesota, which has been one of the most competitive election states since 2016. Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has a 16-seat advantage in the state House, 75-59, but lacks control of the state Senate. Additionally, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D-AZ) is a Democrat, and Republicans currently represent two Twin Cities suburban districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Republicans and Democrats each flipped two House seats in Minnesota in 2018.

The Republican Party currently has a 35-32 advantage in the state Senate, and its voter base is located in districts outside the Twin Cities that the party won in the 2016 election. Democrats only need to flip two of these seats to get a majority Senate, but Republicans can still divert a complete DFL trifecta by attempting to win five DFL-held Senate seats and the state House despite Democrats having a 16-seat advantage. 

4. Pennsylvania

Democrats have the most voting power in the major American city of Philadelphia. However, Republicans control both the Senate and the House, which Pennsylvania Democrats are working to change. Their strategy could work: Currently, President Trump’s unpopularity is on the rise in Pennsylvania, and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has an average lead of approximately seven points in the state. 

Pennsylvania Democrats need to gain nine Republican seats in the House and four in the Senate for a full power trifecta. Republicans currently have 110 house seats compared to Democrats’ 93 seats. 

A takeover of either the Senate or House could increase Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s chances of passing Democratic legislature. This shift could also prove important as soon as November, as Pennsylvania could well decide the 2020 election.

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