THE (IM)BALANCE OF STATE POWER

TRIFECTA (noun): When one party holds all 3 positions of state government (House, Senate, and governorship). When one party controls a whole state.

The Republicans have 26 state trifectas. The Democrats only have 6. The GOP has unchecked power in more than half the country. 

(These trifecta numbers will change in 2018, thanks to recent Democratic wins in New Jersey and Washington state! As newly elected officials are sworn in, we’ll update the numbers on this page.)

Map of trifectas

We've created an interactive map to track the trifectas and flippable states.

  • Democratic Trifecta
  • Republican Trifecta
  • Split Government

It wasn’t always this way: Republicans invested much more in state politics after 2008 than Democrats did, and it worked. Over a dozen states flipped red, and GOP leaders used voter suppression and unfair voting maps to keep themselves in charge. Now we’re seeing a wave of harmful laws in those red trifecta states.

So how does the partisan balance of power play out in different states? Here are a few examples:

D3_SOS_MO

Missouri = red trifecta.

Missouri’s a swing state in national elections, but it became a GOP trifecta in November, 2016. Already, lawmakers have passed anti-choice laws, weakened common sense gun reforms, and cracked down on voting rights. Other new red trifectas (KY, IA, and NH) are following a similar pattern.

D3_SOS_NC

North Carolina = split government.

With a veto-proof majority in the state legislature, Republicans used new district maps that disenfranchised minority voters. The court threw out those racist maps—but GOP politicians in NC are still trying to hold onto power by targeting people of color.

D3_SOS_OR

Oregon = blue trifecta.

It’s one of a small handful of Dem-controlled states in the country—and it’s a great example of what we can achieve when Republicans don’t block our agenda. Progressives in Oregon have strengthened women’s and LGBTQIA rights, expanded access to voting, and raised the minimum wage.


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