Politics

2020 was the safest year for state legislative incumbents in a decade, a study finds.

Fewer 2020 incumbents lost normal elections for state legislative seats than in any year in the final decade, in accordance with a new analysis from the political website Ballotpedia.

Yet whereas incumbents have been turning into safer in normal elections, they have been extra susceptible in primaries than in any year since 2012 — the final time redistricting compelled many elected officers into districts with fellow incumbents — a signal of the rising polarization of American politics, significantly in the Republican Party.

Nearly twice as many Republican state legislators lost major contests (94) as normal elections (52) final year, and almost thrice as many Democrats have been ousted in November (165) as in get together primaries (60).

Overall, simply 227 of 4,823 incumbents who appeared on normal election ballots this year lost — the smallest numbers since Ballotpedia started monitoring knowledge in 2010. Fewer state legislative incumbents usually lose in presidential election years, a sign that voters who select one get together for president stick to the identical get together for different places of work on the poll.

Last year’s elections additionally marked the first time since 1944 that solely two statehouse chambers — the New Hampshire House and Senate, which each flipped from Democratic to Republican majorities — modified partisan management.

“You’d call this election a draw,” stated Doug Kronaizl, who performed the Ballotpedia study of state legislative outcomes. “You didn’t see a bunch of flips. It was just a struggle in the trenches as far as partisan control.”

With redistricting battles looming when the Census Bureau delivers its 2020 knowledge to states later this year, management of redistricting modified in solely three states final year: New Hampshire; Vermont, the place Democrats lost a veto-proof majority in the state legislature; and Virginia, the place voters accredited a nonpartisan redistricting fee.

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