Elections & Campaigns
Post-Election Analysis: Expected Red Wave Turns Blue
November 9, 2022 | Bill Kramer
Keep track of which states are at risk of losing or gaining trifecta status.
Last Updated November 17, 2022
Democrats gained trifectas in Massachusetts and Maryland after gubernatorial victories and scored another two trifectas by flipping the Michigan Legislature and Minnesota Senate. Republicans could still add a trifecta in Alaska by capturing the house. Democrats lost a trifecta in Nevada with the gubernatorial loss, while Republicans lost their trifecta in Arizona by losing the governor’s mansion and could potentially lose one in New Hampshire if Democrats gain majorities in the house.
Democrats look to have gained 3 trifectas net for 2023. There should be a record number of trifectas next year, most likely totaling 39 states. This would be the highest number of one-party controlled states in the modern era.
A state government trifecta occurs when a political party controls both chambers of the legislature as well as the governor’s mansion. Currently, Republicans have 23 state trifectas, Democrats have 14 state trifectas, and 13 states have divided government.
In order to forecast how the November 8, 2022, elections will impact state trifectas in 2023, we need to look at the elections for all three pieces of the trifecta puzzle: gubernatorial, state senate, and state house elections. Because there are so many races and so many moving parts, it’s difficult to predict what the post-election outcome on trifectas will be.
On November 8, 2022, gubernatorial seats in 36 states are up for election. Of these, 20 are currently held by Republicans and 16 are currently held by Democrats. The map below shows forecasts for the 2022 gubernatorial elections. Forecasts provided by cnalysis.
Senators in 43 states are up for election in 2022. The entire membership of 20 state senate chambers are up for election, while only a portion of the senate is up for election in the remaining 23 state senate chambers. Forecasts provided by cnalysis.
House lawmakers in 45 states are up for election in November. The entire lower chamber is up for election in 44 of the state house chambers, while only 66 of 94 seats of the North Dakota House of Representatives is up for election this year. Forecasts provided by cnalysis.
Potential Trifecta Gains
Democrats are likely to gain trifectas in Massachusetts and Maryland with victories in the governors’ races in those states. And after redistricting, Republican majorities in both legislative chambers in Michigan are vulnerable to Democratic takeovers, but a Democratic trifecta would require a victory in the governor’s race as well.
Republicans are favored to gain a trifecta in Kansas with a victory in this year’s governor’s race. Republicans could also gain trifectas in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania with gubernatorial wins and holding control of those state legislatures. And if Republicans gain the governor’s mansion and flip the state house in Minnesota, they’d gain a trifecta. Finally, Republicans in Alaska could gain a trifecta by defeating moderate Republicans that have caucused with Democrats or winning a greater majority outright, in the state house.
Potential Trifecta Loses
Democrats could lose their trifectas in Nevada and Maine by losing the governor's race in those states. The Democratic majority in the Nevada House is also vulnerable. Republicans could lose trifectas in Arizona and Georgia with losses in this year’s gubernatorial elections. And the Republican trifecta in New Hampshire could go down if Democrats secure a majority in the always volatile, 400-seat New Hampshire House.
Visit our 2022 State Elections Toolkit for additional information on all of the state executive and legislative seats up for election this year, handy downloadable resources, and analysis of the potential impact on the partisan makeup of state governments.