2024 Legislative Session Dates
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Last Updated: Nov. 12 at 10:25 AM ET

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While the nation focused on the 470 congressional races Tuesday night, voters also decided 6,000 state-level elections. In addition to deciding important ballot initiatives, voters in every state elected some combination of governors, attorneys general, lieutenant governors, state lawmakers, school boards, and other officials.

Explore MultiState’s coverage of many of these races below, as well as analysis of what the elections might mean for key state policy issues. This post will be updated as our election coverage continues over the next week. Bookmark this website and return to it as we provide a central dashboard for everything you need to know about state elections in 2018.

Post-Election Key Takeaways

  • Governors (D+7): Overall, Democrats gained 7 governorships after Tuesday night with big wins in Kansas and Wisconsin, while Republicans won the seat of Alaska's independent governor. Georgia remains too close to call and could very well head to a runoff election. Democrats had high hopes to further sweep their candidates into office in Florida, Oklahoma, and Ohio, but Republicans held off a potential blue wave in those states. A full analysis of gubernatorial election results is available here.
  • Legislative Chambers (D+5): Results from over 6,000 state legislative races will take a few days to finalize, but it looks like Democrats will take control of six legislative chambers, the Minnesota House, Maine Senate, New York Senate, Colorado Senate, both the House and Senate in New Hampshire, and have broken a tied chamber in the Connecticut Senate. Republicans were able to take back control of the Alaska Senate. We now project that only one legislature in the country — the Minnesota Legislature — will have split party control in 2019 (with Democrats controlling the House and Republicans the Senate). The remaining 49 states will be split 31 under Republican control and 18 under Democratic control of both chambers. A full political analysis of state legislative results is available here.
  • Trifectas (D+6 / R-3): Pre-election, Republicans controlled both the legislature and governorship in 26 states, while Democrats held the same in only 8 states (and only 6 prior to last year's elections in New Jersey and Washington). After Tuesday, it appears that Democrats have gained 6 new trifectas in Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Maine, Colorado, and New York. Republicans gained a trifecta in Alaska and lost trifectas in Kansas, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Michigan.
  • Ballot Measures: Proponents for Medicaid expansion, marijuana legalization, and increasing the minimum wage all had a good night on Tuesday as voters approved several measures on each issue and continue a trend over multiple election cycles for these popular topics. Voters proved more wary of tax increases on the ballot, approving many exemptions and legislative limits on taxing authority and rejecting every tax increase. Voters also rejected many ballot measures aimed at the oil and gas industry.

Gubernatorial Elections

There are 36 gubernatorial seats up for election this year, 26 of which are currently held by Republicans. As of early Wednesday morning, Democrats have flipped governor's mansions in seven states capturing Michigan, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Mexico. The biggest wins for Democrats were in Kansas and Wisconsin where Laura Kelly (D) defeated Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) and Tom Evers (D) defeated two-term incumbent Scott Walker (R).

Republicans held on to competitive seats in Florida, Oklahoma, and Ohio. The governors race in Georgia remains too close to call Wednesday morning and could be heading to a runoff election if neither candidate can muster 50 percent of the vote. Finally, Republicans took control of the governorship in Alaska after independent incumbent Bill Walker dropped out of the race and Mike Dunleavy (R) defeated former U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D).

Post-Election Coverage:

Pre-Election Coverage:

2018 Governors by Party (2)

State Legislative Chambers

Republicans are on the defense in state legislative chamber elections. They currently control 67 of the 99 state legislative chambers, but nearly 82 percent of state-level legislative seats are up for election this November.

As of late Tuesday night, it appears Democrats have flipped the chambers in the Minnesota House, Maine Senate, New York Senate, Colorado Senate, both the House and Senate in New Hampshire, and have broken a tied chamber in the Connecticut Senate. It appears that Democrats have gained veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the Oregon legislature and have broken supermajorities in the Michigan and Pennsylvania Senates as well as both chambers of the North Carolina Legislature.

Post-Election Coverage:

Pre-Election Coverage:

2018 Legislatures by Party

Political Trifectas

Currently, there are 26 Republican political trifectas and 8 Democratic political trifectas, meaning that one party holds the governorship as well as a majority in the state House and Senate.

After Tuesday's elections, Democrats have gained a trifecta in Illinois, New Mexico, and Nevada after flipping the governorship and Republicans have done the same in Alaska after taking the governors mansion and gaining control of the state senate. In Maine, Democrats appear to have gained a trifecta after a victorious gubernatorial race and flipping the state senate while maintaining control of the house. Similarly, Democrats gained trifectas in Colorado and New York after flipping the state senates in both states.

Democrats have broken trifectas in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Michigan after winning governors races in those states. In New Hampshire, Democrats captured both legislative chambers, breaking the Republican trifecta in the state.

2018 State Political Trifectas (4)

2019 State Political Trifectas

Statewide Ballot Measures

Voters decided over 150 ballot measures on Tuesday across 37 states. Below are a chart of our top 20 ballot measures to watch this year along with our topic-by-topic previews.

Voters approved of efforts to increase the minimum wage in Arkansas and Missouri. Marijuana legalization proponents also had a big night as voters approved legalization efforts for recreational use in Michigan and medical use in Missouri and Utah (however, North Dakota voters rejected a measure that would have decriminalized marijuana in the state). Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah voted to expand Medicaid on Tuesday night, while Montana voters rejected a proposal to continue that state's Medicaid expansion program with a ballot measure that would have paid for it with increased tobacco taxes. Lawmakers will now need to find a way to pay for expansion if the Montana program is to continue.

Post-Election Coverage: Pre-Election Coverage: