Tuesday Elections that Determine Control of Redistricting

Several sources have recently published articles (Governing Magazine, AP)  discussing the importance of this Tuesday’s elections for control of the 2011 Congressional redistricting processes in states throughout the country. But those articles have not provided a complete list of important races.  In numerous states, both the race for governor and individual races for state legislature could change control of either branch of the state legislature and have significant effects on which party controls 2011 Congressional redistricting in that state.  In preparation for Tuesday’s midterm elections, the Rose Institute has compiled a list of the races (or battles for control of a state legislature) that will determine Congressional redistricting control.  Ratings are taken from the Cook Political Report for Governor races and Governing Magazine’s 2010 State Legislature Race Ratings for state legislative races.

Note that in some states, the legislature and/or the Governor are not directly involved in redistricting. For a rundown of how each state conducts redistricting, see the Rose Institute report, “Redistricting in America.

New York Senate (Democratic Control)

Democrats have solid control of the Assembly and Democrat Andrew Cuomo looks certain to be the next governor.  New York will lose seats in Congress after the Census, and the redistricting process will determine which incumbents may lose their seats.  Democrats currently control the Senate 32-30, and Republicans will need to pick up at least two seats if they are going to have any say in the redistricting process. (Senate rating: Tossup)

Georgia Governor (Republican Control)

Republicans safely control both branches of the legislature.  Georgia is likely to gain a seat in 2011 after the Census.  If Republican Nathan Deal wins the Governor’s mansion, Republicans will control the entire process.  However, if former Democratic Governor Roy Barnes reclaims the office, he could veto any Republican plan and could force compromise. (Governor rating: Lean R)

Alabama Legislature (Democratic Control)

Democrats control both branches of the legislature currently, and Republican Robert Bentley will likely keep the Governor’s mansion Republican.  However, a very strong performance by Bentley could help Republicans down ticket and might eliminate the Democrats’ majority in the state Senate (currently a 20-15 majority). (Legislature ratings: both Lean R).

Ohio Governor and House (Democratic Control)

Currently, Democrats control both the Governor’s mansion and the House while the Republicans have control of the Senate.  Ohio will likely lose 1-2 seats after the Census, and districts will be significantly redrawn (see the recent series by the Rose Institute on Ohio redistricting).  Republicans have strong candidates at the top of the ticket in gubernatorial candidate John Kasich and senatorial candidate Rob Portman.  A Kasich victory would give Republicans considerable power in redistricting, but strong performances by him and Portman could help Republicans down ticket and possibly change control of the House, which would give Republicans complete control of the entire process. (Governor rating: Tossup; House rating: Lean R).

Kentucky Senate (Republican Control)

Currently, Democrats control the Governor’s mansion and the Kentucky House while Republicans control the Kentucky Senate.  The competitive race for U.S. Senate could help Democrats down ticket and possibly help Democrats win the seats they would need to eliminate the Republicans’ current 20-17 advantage in the Senate, giving Democrats complete control over the redistricting process. (Senate rating: Likely R).

Tennessee House (Republican Control)

Republicans control both branches of the legislature, and Republican Bill Haslam will become the next Governor.  But Republican control of the House is only by one seat (50-49), which could allow Democrats to win the majority.  Yet, Haslam’s performance at the top of the ticket is likely to help, rather than harm, Republicans down ticket, making it unlikely that Republicans will lose seats. (House rating: Likely R).

Pennsylvania Governor and House (Democratic Control)

Democrats currently control the Governor’s mansion, and Democrats narrowly control the House by a 104-99 margin. Republicans safely control the Senate, 30-19 (1 vacancy).  The race to replace Ed Rendell as Governor is close between Democrat Dan Onorato and Republican Tom Corbett, as is the U.S. Senate race between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak.  With a very strong performance, Republicans could win the Governor’s mansion and potentially the House, which would give them complete control over the redistricting process. (Governor rating: Lean R; House rating: Lean R).

Texas House (Republican Control)

Republicans control both branches of the legislature and the Governor’s mansion.  At the beginning of the cycle, Democrats were optimistic about taking the Governor’s mansion with Houston Mayor Bill White.  However, national pro-Republican trends have hurt White’s chances and Perry looks likely to win.  While Democrats may hope to take the House away from Republicans, Perry’s performance at the top of the ticket makes it less likely Democrats will see gains in the House. (House rating: Likely R).

Colorado Legislature and Governor (Democratic Control)

At the beginning of the cycle, Republicans believed they had good shots at control of the Governor’s mansion and possibly one or both branches of the legislature.  However, when Scott McInnis was caught for plagiarism and lost the gubernatorial primary to Dan Maes, the Republicans’ chances of winning the Governor’s mansion went down significantly (Maes currently polls behind third party candidate Tom Tancredo).  While the competitive U.S. Senate race may help Republicans down ticket somewhat, and Republicans may win the House, Republicans are unlikely to win the Governor’s mansion and the Maes controversy may hurt down ticket Republican hopes in the state legislature races. (Governor rating: Likely Democrat; House rating: Tossup; Senate rating: Lean D).

Indiana House (Democratic Control)

Republicans control the Governor’s mansion and the Senate by a comfortable margin.  Republican Dan Coat’s strong campaign for U.S. Senate will help Republicans down ticket, and Republicans are expected to take away the Democrats’ 52-48 majority in the House.  (House rating: Lean Republican).

Nevada Senate (Democratic Control)

Currently, Republicans control the Governor’s mansion, and Democrats control both branches of the legislature.  Republicans will likely maintain the Governor’s mansion, and Democrats will continue to control the House.  However, Republicans hope that they can eliminate the Democrats’ 12-9 advantage in the Senate.  (House rating: Lean Democrat).

Illinois Governor (Democratic Control)

Both branches of the legislature and the Governor’s mansion are controlled by Democrats.  The legislature is unlikely to change. Republican Bill Brady may win the gubernatorial race which would allow Republicans to veto any Democratic plan and possibly lead to a bipartisan compromise on redistricting. (Governor rating: Tossup).

Michigan House (Democratic Control)

Republicans only control the Senate currently.  However, Republican Rick Snyder is expected to win the Governor’s mansion, and Republicans may win enough seats in the House to win control (Democrats currently have a 66-43 advantage).  Michigan is likely to lose a seat in the House of Representatives after the Census, and there will be a significant partisan fight over redistricting.  However, if Republicans are very successful on Tuesday, they may control the entire process.  (House rating: Tossup).

New Hampshire Legislature and Governor (Democratic Control)

Democrats currently control both branches of the legislature and the Governor’s mansion.  However, Republicans are expected to win many seats and may take control of both branches.  The Governor’s race is also considered competitive, giving Republicans a shot at complete control of redistricting.  (Governor rating: Lean D; House rating: Lean R; Senate rating: Lean R).

Wisconsin Legislature and Governor (Democratic Control)

Republicans currently do not control any part of the redistricting process, as the Governor’s mansion and both branches of the legislature are Democratic.  However, Republicans could win all three on Tuesday to win control of the entire process. (Governor rating: Lean R; House rating: Lean R; Senate rating: Lean R).

North Carolina Legislature (Democratic Control)

Unlike the rest of these states, North Carolina redistricting is controlled completely by the legislature with no gubernatorial involvement.  Democrats currently control both branches by double digits, but Republicans may take control of one or both branches Tuesday, especially with U.S. Senator Richard Burr at the top of the Republican ticket as he is expected to boost the chances of local Republicans.  (House rating: Tossup; Senate rating: Tossup).

The Rose Institute will issue a follow up post next week after the election to analyze which party was successful in each state and will control the redistricting process.

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