Down ballot: the House, Senate, and governorships are also up for grabs this November
Share this article to ensure that your fellow voters know what else beyond the presidency is on the ballot this fall.
By Josh Herman & Lorelei Yang, Countable News
MORE THAN THE PRESIDENCY IS AT STAKE
In addition to the presidency, control of both houses of Congress is up for grabs this election season. In the House of Representatives, all 435 seats are up for election. Currently, Democrats control the chamber with 223 seats (218 seats are needed for control when there aren’t any vacancies). Prognosticators identify around 41 House seats as being battlegrounds—20 are currently controlled by Democrats, 20 by Republicans, and one by a Libertarian.
The Senate, which currently consists of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with Democrats, has 35 seats up for election. Of those 35 seats, 23 are held by the GOP, and Democrats will need to gain three or four seats to take control of the chamber.
According to forecasters at FiveThirtyEight, Democrats are favored to win seats in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina against Republican incumbents; Montana, Kansas, Alaska, and South Carolina could also be in play.
The country is nearly split between (D) and (R) governors, with 26 Republicans and 24 Democrats in office. Eleven states will hold gubernatorial (governorship) elections in 2020. Seven of the incumbents are Republican, four are Democratic.
Of these races, one — Montana — is rated a “toss-up” as of October 20, 2020. In this race, Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) and Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D) are facing off to win the governorship from Gov. Steve Bullock (D), who is termed out of office this year. (Though Bullock is running for the U.S. Senate after a brief attempt to clinch the Democractic Party’s presidential nomination.) Although Gianforte is leading in the polls, Democrats and political experts say his advantage is small enough to be overtaken by Election Day. Moreover, Montanans have a history of voting for moderate, pro-gun Democratic governors such as the outgoing Bullock.
In addition to Montana, five states are considered to be general-election battlegrounds:
- Indiana: Incumbent Eric Holcomb (R) faces off against Democratic candidate Dr. Woody Myers and Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater.
- Missouri: Incumbent Gov. Mike Parson (R) versus State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D).
- New Hampshire: Incumbent Chris Sununu (R) takes on New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D).
- North Carolina: Incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper (D) faces off against Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R).
- Vermont: Incumbent Gov. Phil Scott (R) takes on Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (Progressive/Democrat).
In 2016, of the states mentioned above, only Indiana and Montana maintained their partisan status-quo, with Indiana remaining Repbulican and Montana remaining Democrat. That year, Republican flipped control in Missouri, New Hampshire, and Vermont; Democrats flipped control in North Carolina.
Currently, only Indiana and Missouri have a single party controlling the governorship and both state legislative chambers; the others are under a divided government, with the party opposite to the governor holding majorities in both state legislative chambers.
State legislatures and redistricting
There are also a number of fights for the control of state legislatures ahead of 2021’s planned redistricting.
For Republicans - who made significant gains in the 2011 redistricting - this is an opportunity to maintain those advantages. Democrats, meanwhile, have an opportunity to erase the advantageous lines that Republicans drew for themselves a decade ago.
What can you do?
It’s simple: vote.
(Image Credit: iStockphoto.com / Kameleon007)
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