(Fall 2008 Trust Magazine briefing)

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10/01/2008 - The historic battle for the White House may be grabbing most of the headlines, but plenty of state races and major ballot measures could also be nail-biters this November—and the results could have national implications.

In fact, there are 11 gubernatorial, 11 attorney-general and seven secretary-of-state races and more than 100 high-profile statewide ballot measures that range from rolling back affirmative action and banning same-sex marriage to legalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill. And some 5,800 legislative seats are up in statehouse races in all but six states that do not hold legislative elections this fall.

To help voters keep track, has launched an interactive guide, 2008 State Elections: What’s at Stake?, which lists candidates for major offices and the parties currently in control of both those offices and the legislatures. It also contains more than 130 ballot initiatives, including some that are still pending certification or facing legal challenge. And more could be added to the slate, as states continue to verify signatures and validate initiatives.

You can read the complete report at, which will be updated regularly until Election Day, and after that, all of the results will be posted. is an online news site that has published every weekday since January 1999 and has earned a reputation for providing original, unbiased reporting on state issues. Most recently a project of the Pew Research Center, it became part of the Pew Center on the States in July.

Joining forces with PCS allows the editorially independent to tap into PCS’s research and analysis, while also providing the center with an unparalleled ability to stay ahead of state policy developments and trends and better provide nonpartisan information and analysis on important issues facing the states. continues to maintain journalistic integrity and editorial independence by not engaging in advocacy work. As it does now, will periodically report on PCS research, events and other efforts—applying the same news judgment as it does to initiatives that have no Pew involvement.

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