Midterm General Election Update

5 minute read | In Focus: State Governor and Legislative Elections | November.09.2022

The late breaking “red wave” – forecasted by pollsters and pundits alike and detailed in our last release – did not materialize, especially at the state level where nearly all of the key legislative chambers and gubernatorial elections on our watch list broke in favor of Democrats. The groundswell of momentum for the Democratic Party reported in the summer and earlier this fall appears to have continued through election day.

Republican underperformance at the federal level – paired with redistricting that made several state legislative seats competitive – boosted Democrats in several swing legislative chambers across the country. The exceptions may be Nevada, where at least one chamber may flip to Republican, and Arizona – where the GOP may hold onto either or both chambers. Election ballots are still being counted to determine the final legislative chamber control in states like Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Compiled below are all the gubernatorial races and legislative chambers that have been reported as final as of midday on November 9.

Once the dust settles, Orrick’s Public Policy Group will provide a third and final midterm election installment analyzing the election results and the forecasted impact on macro state policy initiatives in 2023.

Key Takeaways

Gubernatorial Races:

  • Democrat incumbents held on to battleground seats in Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan, and Maine. As widely anticipated, the Democrats flipped Maryland and Massachusetts in open seat races.
  • The lone GOP governor pickup may ultimately be Nevada, where incumbent Governor Steve Sisolak (D) is trailing Republican challenger Joe Lombardo.
  • Arizona and Oregon’s gubernatorial seat remains too close to call.

Legislative Chambers:

  • The Michigan legislature flipped to Democrat, giving the party trifecta control of the state for the first time since 1988. This is also the first time the Democrats have won a majority in both legislative chambers since 1982. The Senate became more competitive after electoral maps were approved last year by the state’s bipartisan citizen redistricting commission.
  • Democrats flipped the Minnesota Senate, delivering a Democratic trifecta in Minnesota for the first time in nearly ten years.
  • Democrats protected the veto power for Democratic Governors Tony Evers in Wisconsin and Roy Cooper in North Carolina.
  • The Democrats defended majorities that Republicans targeted to flip in Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, and Washington.
  • Republicans may flip at least one legislative chamber in Nevada and may hold on to both chamber majorities in Arizona.

Abortion Rights Ballot Measures & Exit Polls:

  • According to Politico’s reporting of exit polls, 27% of voters picked abortion as “mattering most in deciding” their vote, coming in second of five choices.
  • Voters in California, Michigan and Vermont all chose to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitutions.
  • Kentucky is likely to vote down a constitutional amendment that would have restricted a right to abortion, or to abortion funding (“no” votes lead by 4% with 91% reporting.)

 


State
Before Election After Election
House Senate Governor Open? House Senate Governor
AL (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kay Ivey (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kay Ivey (R)
AK (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Mark Dunleavy (R) No Outcome TBD Outcome TBD Outcome TBD
AZ Republican narrow majority Republican narrow majority Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited. Toss up race. Yes Outcome TBD Outcome TBD Outcome TBD
AR (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Asa Hutchinson (R) Yes (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R)
CA (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Gavin Newsom (D) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Gavin Newsom (D)
CO (D) supermajority Democrat supermajority but considered somewhat vulnerable.
Jared Polis (D) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Jared Polis (D)
CT (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Ned Lamont (D) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Ned Lamont (D)
DE (D) supermajority (D) supermajority John Carney (D) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority No race.
FL (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Ron Desantis (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Ron DeSantis (R)
GA (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Brian Kemp (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Brian Kemp (R)
HI (D) supermajority (D) supermajority David Ige (D) Yes (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Josh Green (D)
ID (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Brad Little (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Brad Little (R)
IL (D) supermajority (D) supermajority J.P. Pritzker (D) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority J.B. Pritzker (D)
IN (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Eric Holcomb (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority No race.
IO (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kim Reynolds (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kim Reynolds (R)
KS (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Laura Kelly (D). Toss-up race. No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Laura Kelly (D)
KY (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Andy Beshear (D) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority No race.
LA (R) supermajority (R) supermajority John Bel Edwards (D) No No race. No race. No race.
ME (D) supermajority Democrat majority, but Republicans hoping to flip. Janet Mills (D). Toss-up race. No Outcome TBD (D) supermajority Janet Mills (D)
MD (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Larry Hogan (R) is term-limited. Democrats expected to pick up trifecta Yes (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Wes Moore (D)
MA (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Charlie Baker (R) is retiring. Democrats expected to pick up trifecta. Yes (D) majority (D) majority Maura Healy (D)
MI (R) majority (R) majority Gretchen Whitmer (D) No (D) majority (D) majority Gretchen Whitmer (D)
MN Democrat majority but considered a toss-up. (R) majority Tim Walz (D) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Tim Waltz (D)
MS (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Tate Reeves (R) No No race. No race. No race.
MO (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Mike Parson (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority No race.
MT (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Greg Gianforte (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority No race.
NE (R) supermajority in unicameral legislature. Pete Ricketts (R) Yes (R) supermajority in unicameral legislature.
Jim Pillen (R)
NV (D) supermajority Democrat majority but considered a toss-up. Steve Sisolak (D). Toss-up race. No Outcome TBD Outcome TBD Outcome TBD
NH (R) majority (R) majority Chris Sununu No (R) majority TBD (R) majority TBD Chris Sununu (R)
NJ (D) majority (D) majority Phil Murphy (D) No No race. No race. No race.
NM (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Michelle Lujan Grisham (D). Republicans hoping to flip. No (D) supermajority No race. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)
NY (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Kathy Hochul (D) No (D) majority TBD (D) supermajority TBD Kathy Hochul (D)
NC (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Roy Cooper (D) No (R) majority (R) majority No race.
ND (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Doug Burgum (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority No race.
OH (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Mike DeWine (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Mike DeWine (R)
OK (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kevin Stitt (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kevin Stitt (R)
OR (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Kate Brown (D). Toss-up race. Yes Outcome TBD Outcome TBD Outcome TBD
PA (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Tom Wolf (D) Yes Outcome TBD Outcome TBD Josh Shapiro (D)
RI (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Dan McKee (D) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Dan McKee (D)
SC (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Henry McMaster (R) No (R) supermajority No race. Henry McMaster (R)
SD (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kristi Noem (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Kristi Noem (R)
TN (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Bill Lee (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Bill Lee (R)
TX (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Greg Abbott (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Greg Abbott (R)
UT (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Spencer Cox (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority No race.
VT (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Phil Scott (R) No (D) supermajority (D) supermajority Phil Scott (R)
VA (R) majority (D) majority Glen Youngkin (R) No No race. No race. No race.
WA (D) majority (D) majority Jay Inslee (D) No (D) majority (D) majority TBD No race.
WV (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Jim Justice (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority No race.
WI (R) majority (R) majority Tony Evers (D). Toss-up race. No (R) majority (R) supermajority Tony Evers (D)
WY (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Mark Gordon (R) No (R) supermajority (R) supermajority Mark Gordon (R)