Political prognosticators are predicting that the historical headwinds facing Democrats in Congress will translate into races further down ballot.
Specifically, according to a new analysis from Ballotpedia, they found “that over the past century “Democratic presidents have seen their party lose an average of 388 state legislative seats in their first midterm elections. Republican presidents have seen an average loss of 345.”
The research goes on to conclude that “[O]nly two presidents since 1922 have seen their parties gain state legislative seats in their first midterm elections: Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 and George W. Bush in 2002.”
Finally, “[T]his all suggests that Democrats may find themselves in an even deeper hole at the state level after this fall. The party currently holds just 44% of state legislative seats across the country, compared with 54% for the GOP,” according to Ballotpedia.
The red wave that is expected to shift power back to Republicans in Congress will likely impact gubernatorial races as well, according to the New York Magazine.
“So far, talk of a possible “red wave” has mostly focused on implications for Congress, as the entire House and a third of the Senate are up for reelection. But a red wave could sweep governor’s races as well, giving the GOP power in a host of competitive states. The recent historical precedents are clear. Democrats gained six net governorships in 2006 and seven in 2018 (the midterms after President George W. Bush’s reelection and President Donald Trump’s election), while Republicans gained six in 2010 and two in 2014 (the two midterms after President Barack Obama’s election and reelection).
“There is already a sizable number of “toss-up” gubernatorial contests in well-established battleground states. A 2022 Republican wave could mean the end of Democratic-held governorship in four of these states — Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. And the same goes for Arizona and Georgia, where Republicans currently hold the governorship, but Democrats have been gaining some momentum.
“In many of these competitive gubernatorial races, it’s too early to project who will be the nominee. This is particularly true on the Republican side, as Donald Trump threatens to insert himself into these races. His intervention could produce extremist nominees and divide state parties, while making voters’ opinion of Trump a key issue in general elections that are normally referenda on the current president.”