Parties Battle for Control of Statehouses

  • September 12, 2008
  • By Daniel C. Vock

Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are in the national spotlight as states that could swing either Republican or Democrat in November's presidential elections. But they are also among the top 10 battleground states where political control could turn over in at least one chamber of the state legislature, according to a new analysis.
In its list of states that most face the possibility of flipping partisan control, released Thursday (Sept. 11), the National Conference of State Legislatures also included states off the national radar, such as Delaware and New York. Indiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee also made NCSL's list of legislative battleground states.
This November, Democrats are trying to hold on to — and maybe even expand — their highest percentage of state lawmakers nationally since 1994. Democrats won most of the races considered “low-hanging fruit” last election cycle and now control 55 percent of legislative seats nationwide — the most since the Republican wave in 1994 when GOP state candidates took over more than 500 legislative seats across the country, Tim Storey, a senior fellow at NCSL said.

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