Elections & Campaigns
Two Weeks Out: The Latest 2020 State Elections Projections and Analysis
October 22, 2020 | Bill Kramer
On November 3, 2020, voters will go to the polls to elect 5,877 state representatives, 11 governors, and 114 statewide ballot measures. We've got all the research and analysis you need right here.
Last Updated September 29, 2020Download Slide Deck
On November 3, 2020, voters will go to the polls to elect 5,877 state representatives, 11 governors, and 114 statewide ballot measures. While much of the media attention focuses on the presidential and congressional races, these state-level elections will determine public policy close to home for every American. MultiState will keep track of these important elections, the political consequences, and potential policy changes for 2021 and beyond.
Explore our 2020 Elections Data Dashboard by clicking here. Toggle between legislative races, governors, ballot measurers, and other state officials using the tabs at the top.
Democrats have gained ground in nationwide governors offices since their 2017 low point of only 16 governorships (to 33 Republican). Currently, Republicans hold 26 governorships and Democrats hold 24. However, while politicos continue to forecast political headwinds in the Democrats’ direction, 2020 does not appear to be a year where Democrats will gain much ground when it comes to governorships. There are only eleven gubernatorial races in 2020 (down from 36 governor races in 2018). Click. here to access more information on the 2020 Gubernatorial Races, including additional research and analysis
There are 5,877 (out of 7,383) state legislative seats up for election on November 3. There are six state legislative chambers currently held by Republicans that have the potential to flip to Democrats next year. Click here to access more information on the 2020 State Legislative races, including additional research and analysis.
When a political party holds a supermajority of seats in a state legislature, that supermajority has the power to override gubernatorial vetoes as well as approve special measures that require passage beyond a simple majority. Supermajorities are particularly important when the sitting governor is of the opposite political party than the supermajority because it can effectively neutralize the governor’s veto power over the legislative branch. The 2020 state elections could see parties lose supermajorities in some state legislatures and parties gain supermajorities in others. Click here for more analysis on the states to watch.
When one party controls both the legislature and governor’s mansion in a state (a "trifecta"), that party has a clear path to pass preferred public policies without any major roadblocks from the opposition party. Currently, Republicans have trifectas in 21 states, Democrats hold 15 state trifectas, and the remaining 14 states are under split control. On November 3, both parties will have opportunities to gain and break up political trifectas. Click here for more analysis on the states to watch.
In 32 states, voters will be asked not only to submit their preferences for individuals running to represent them, but they’ll be asked to decide the fate of new laws or constitutional amendments directly. This form of direct democracy is often referred to universally as ballot measures. Currently, 32 states have certified a total of 120 statewide ballot measures for the November 3 ballot. Mississippi will decide on a new state flag. Voters in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota will decide whether to legalize marijuana for certain uses. Californians alone will see 12 statewide measures on their ballot (in addition to potential local measures), including high-profile measures to exclude rideshare drivers from a recent law (CA AB 5) that would classify them as employees and a measure that would expand the protections of the nation’s first major consumer privacy law. Click here for more analysis on the ballot measures to watch.
October 22, 2020 | Bill Kramer
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