BRADENTON – Tuesday's elections reshaped more than just the composition in D.C. A divided electorate swung all over the spectrum as several states experienced major shifts in power. Overall, it seems Democrats benefited most, as the president's victory seemed to carry turnout in their favor. But Republicans managed a couple of surprise victories and even netted one governor to expand their count to 30.
In Florida, Democrats picked up at least four seats in the state house (a fifth is still in recount) and two in the state Senate, which ends the GOP's "super-majority" that had made it veto proof with more than 2/3 of each chamber under its control. Most notably, incumbent Tea Party heavyweights like Representative Scott Plakon and Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff were defeated, signaling that voters may have considered the radical agenda on social issues and overreach by a movement founded on fiscal ones.
Democrats captured control of eight state legislative chambers on Tuesday, including the New Hampshire House of Representatives, which had been held by the Tea Party-dominated state Republican Party, who had pushed for voter ID restrictions, tax cuts and strict anti-abortion laws. They also won the Oregon House, where the parties have been tied for the last two years, while also winning the Colorado House, the Maine House and Senate, the Minnesota House and Senate, and the New York Senate.
Republicans won three chambers, including regaining control of the Wisconsin state Senate, which they'd lost in the June recall election. Among other GOP gains at the state level were both houses of the Arkansas Legislature, which have not been in Republican hands since the Civil War and was heavily targeted by the RNC and right-wing conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity.
In the governor races, all incumbent Republican governors won. In fact, no incumbent Republican governor has lost an election since 2007. Republicans also picked up North Carolina, where Democrats have had a long-time stranglehold on the governor's mansion, aided by Gov. Beverly Perdue's decision not to seek reelection. In 2008, Purdue was the first woman ever to be elected governor of the state. Meanwhile, Democrats retained six governorships, in Delaware, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia.
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