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State Election Coverage

Why these races matter

November 5, 2020  0
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There are warnings a "blue wave" will sweep the nation on Election Day.

With Election Day now upon us, state races will be a good indicator as to whether these predictions are accurate.

If hotly contested state elections go blue, the wave is real.

If they swing Republican, that shows the warnings were not correct — and could be predictive of a Trump win.

Of the 11 governorships up for election this cycle, eight are leaning Republican while only three are leaning Democrat.

That means a blue wave would involve multiple upsets in gubernatorial races.

Normally, state legislatures are divided into upper and lower houses, much like the U.S. Congress.

When one party controls both houses in a given state and the governorship as well, it's called a trifecta. Around the country, there are 36 trifectas: 15 Democratic and 21 Republican.

This year, 86 of the 99 legislative chambers will be holding elections. Of those 86 chambers, 22 are considered battlegrounds — leaving room for both parties to make sizable gains.

Of the 36 states with trifectas, 16 are viewed as vulnerable to flipping come Election Day.

Republicans currently control 52% of all state legislative seats, while Democrats only hold 47%. This gives the GOP the advantage of running incumbents, whose names and policies are familiar to voters.

Republicans also hold a majority in 59 legislative chambers, while Democrats control 39 chambers. This gives Republicans another advantage looking at the big picture.

State races are often less dramatic and more policy-based than federal elections.

With Republicans holding the seeming advantage in many state races, the chances of a blue wave seem slimmer than the media leads on.

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