Written by Hudson Crozier
What happened: Democrats defied expectations at the state level in the midterm elections. They flipped control of the Michigan state Legislature and the Minnesota Senate, held onto several governors, prevented a veto-proof supermajority in North Carolina, and gained three trifectas, or single-party governments, overall around the country.
Why it matters: Republicans have dominated state elections nationwide for years. Democrats will now have more control over increasingly prominent local issues such as abortion, voting restrictions, and transgender policy.
The scope: In Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, Democrats won both state chambers and the governorship, achieving free rein for their legislative agenda in those states. Some of these states’ legislative majorities haven’t been won by Democrats for years or decades. Still, the GOP increased its control in Texas and Florida and still holds more state majorities and roughly half of the governorships.
Big picture: Not only did Republicans fall short of their projected red wave in Congress this year, but Democrats also made significant wins that will impact important policy issues on the state level.