Thanks to the efforts of Darth Jeff, JeffMD, and others, the team at Daily Kos Elections has been working hard on calculating the 2012 presidential election results by all of the state legislative districts after successfully finishing compiling them for the congressional districts. While not yet complete, there are now many states where results are available and with Google's Fusion Tables app I've been creating maps of the results.
Here I've visualized in an interactive fashion both houses of 11 state legislative chambers. Districts colored solid red voted for Romney, and sent a Republican to the capitol; Solid blue seats voted for Obama and elected a Democrat. Light red districts voted for Obama while voting for a Republican legislator, while light blue seats belong to Romney Democrats. Simply click on a district and it will tell you who represents it, which party they belong to, when they first took office, their last election result, and the 2012 presidential result. For a larger map click the link beneath each one. All vacant districts are assigned to the party that last won them. Please note that the maps display Obama's percentage based on the two party vote, while this diary calculates it based on the two party vote as well as all other candidates included on the ballot. In any case, the differences are minor.
North Carolina State Senate
To start out, here is my home state of North Carolina. Until the 2010 elections, Democrats held majorities in both chambers almost continuously since Reconstruction, with only a few interruptions in the House. After Republicans won both houses in the 2010 wave, they quickly set to work to lock in their new majorities. The new maps did exactly what they were supposed to do: Despite only winning the state by a narrow 50-48 margin, Mitt Romney carried 33 Senate districts while President Obama carried just 17.
Down-ballot the results were similar, giving Republicans a veto-proof Senate majority. The Republicans hold 33 of the 50 districts with one Republican representing an Obama district and one Democrat a Romney district. The median district voted for Romney by a 57 to 42 margin, putting it an eye-popping 13 points to the right of the state. This means that if Democrats are ever going to retake their old majorities under this map, they will need to win some very red turf.
North Carolina State House of Representatives
North Carolina's lower chamber has a similarly strong 77-43 Republican majority. Eighty House districts voted for Romney and just 40 supported Obama: Five Democrats sit in Romney districts, while two Republicans are in Obama districts. Rather astoundingly for a southern state, Republican Charles Jeter won an open 53 percent Obama Charlotte-area district in 2012, making this the bluest seat held by his party in the state. The median seat in the House is 56-43 Romney, putting it over 11 points to the right of the state.
Head below the fold to see the other 10 states.
Arizona State Senate
Like their counterparts in North Carolina, Arizona Republicans controlled both houses of the legislature when it was time for redistricting. However, despite some dubious legal maneuvering, they were not able to gerrymander the state. An independent commission consisting of two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Independent carries out redistricting in Arizona: This (theoretically) prevents one party from having too much control over the process. The legislature is made up of 30 seats, with each electing one Senator and two Representatives.
Romney carried Arizona 54-45, netting him 18 districts to Obama's 12. The median seat of the legislature went for Romney 55-44, about two points to the right of the state. Senator Barbara McGuire is the only Democrat to hold a Romney seat, while no Republicans represent areas won by Obama. This gives the GOP a 17-13 majority in the chamber.
Arizona State House of Representatives
The lower house is similar, with few members sitting in hostile territory. Unlike most states, voters in Arizona cast two votes for the state house with the top two finishers winning. Twenty eight of the thirty legislative seats elected both their House members from the same party. LD-09, located north of Tucson and colored light red, is the only Obama district to pick one Representative from each party. Its counterpart is the Scottsdale-area LD-28, a Romney district that has one Democratic representative and colored light blue. Overall, Republicans control the chamber 36 to 24.
California State Senate
California instituted a fully independent citizens' redistricting commission through ballot measures last decade and the resulting maps were a big departure from the incumbent-protection gerrymander of the 2000s. With only 40 districts in a state of nearly 40 million people, state senators represent an enormous number of constituents, the most of any state legislative districts. It is also the first state in this diary where only half of the Senate is up for election every two years and where senators serve four-year terms. Thus half of these districts have yet to hold an election under the new lines, but they more or less correspond to the previous districts so I can assign them by party.
Obama won the Golden State 60-37, carrying a super-majority of 29 districts while Romney took just 11. The median point in the Senate is about the same as Obama's statewide margin. Republicans have a long way to go if they're to reclaim the legislative body that Democrats have held since 1956 as they hold just two Obama districts, though Democrats hold no Romney seats.
Democrats currently have a super-majority of 28 members to the Republicans' 11 with one Republican vacancy, but the new legislative lines eliminated one Democratic district and moved it to Republican-leaning parts of Riverside County. This means the Republicans will start with an automatic pick up in 2014. (That district is colored gray on the map). Republicans hold two seats that both voted 59 percent for Obama, but neither incumbent has been elected under the new lines yet.
California State Assembly
California's lower chamber, which is called the Assembly rather than the House of Representatives, is also solidly Democratic. Obama won 58 of the 80 districts, and the median district is 63-34, six points to the left of the state. Democrats hold a 55-25 super-majority in the chamber: Republicans hold three Obama seats, while no Democrats represent Romney seats.
Colorado State Senate
After the legislature was unable to agree on a redistricting plan, a commission consisting of appointees picked by the Legislature, Governor, and state Supreme Court Chief Justice drew Colorado’s state legislative districts. The bipartisan commission ended up choosing maps proposed by the Democrats, but it was not an aggressive partisan gerrymander. Obama won this swing state 51-46, carrying 20 Senate seats to Romney's 15. The median Senate seat almost exactly matches Obama's statewide margin.
Until the 2013 recalls unseated two incumbent Democrats, Colorado was one of the very few states where every single legislative Obama district was also held by a Democrat and every Romney district was held by a Republican. Democrats currently have a tiny 18-17 edge in the chamber. However, they will get a chance to take back the two heavily Democratic districts they lost in the recalls this year.
Colorado State House of Representatives
The state House retains its perfect partisan alignment with 37 districts carried by Obama and held by Democrats while 28 Romney districts are held by Republicans. Unlike the Senate, the House was very favorable to Democrats with the median district voting for the president 55-42, eight points to the left of the state.
Delaware State Senate
Democrats have controlled the Delaware Senate since 1974 and with 14 of the chambers 21 seats voting carried by Obama that majority is not in danger. The median district voted for Obama 57-41, two points to the right of the state. Republicans hold two Obama seats, including the median district. By contrast, the only red Senate seat Democrats hold is Romney's best in the state, a southwestern Sussex county seat that backed him 60-39. Overall Democrats hold a 13-8 veto-proof majority. Delaware is one of the few states where all seats are up in years ending in 2, but only half are up every subsequent two years.
Delaware State House of Representatives
Republicans held the Delaware House for decades until 2008, but like the Senate it is now solidly Democratic. Twenty-eight districts voted for Obama to only 13 supporting Romney. Just like the Senate Democrats hold a very red 57-42 Sussex County Romney seat. Republicans hold two Obama districts, including one northern seat that gave the president 59 percent. As a result, Democrats hold a 27-14 super-majority. The median district supported Obama 60-38, about three points more Democratic than the whole state.
Hawaii State Senate
A bipartisan commission drew Hawaii’s districts but that makes very little partisan impact since the state is among the very most Democratic in the nation. Given his large native-son boost, Obama carried every single district in the legislature. Democrats also dominated down ballot by taking 24 of the 25 seats, the strongest majority either party holds in any state. Senator Sam Slom, who is the Minority Leader by virtue of being the lone Republican, won 60 percent in a southeastern Honolulu seat Obama carried with 65 percent. Obama carried the median Senate district 71-28, matching his statewide total. Even Romney's best district, the Oahu North Shore based SD-23, gave him just 40 percent of the vote.
Hawaii State House of Representatives
Republicans fare slightly better in the House, holding seven seats to the Democrats' 51. Like in the upper chamber, the president carried every seat. The median district voted for the president 71-27, just one point to the right of the state. The Republicans rather impressively hold HD-31, a Honolulu district that supported Obama with 67 percent of the vote. Romney's best district, the North Shore's HD-47, gave him a relatively strong 46 percent. However, this was the only district where he took at least 40 percent of the vote.
Idaho State Senate
Idaho uses a bipartisan redistricting commission with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans who unanimously approved the state's 35 legislative districts. The state utilizes the same district lines for the House and Senate. Romney easily carried Idaho 65-33, taking 31 of the 35 district and the median seat voted for him 67-30, four points to the right of the state. Democrats hold every Obama seat as well as three red ones, giving them seven seats to the Republicans' 28. Idaho contains Romney's best state legislative district of those we've calculated so far, with the Rexburg-based LD-34 backing him 92 to 7.
Idaho State House of Representatives A
Unlike in Arizona, each House district elects its members in separate elections. Voters are given two lists, with each party nominating a candidate for the A and B seats. The A set of the House saw the strongest partisan alignment of the three with Democrats only winning a single Romney seat (though they came close in a few others).
Idaho State House of Representatives B
By contrast, the B set saw Democrats win the most Romney districts. Team Blue carried four total seats including Lewiston's LD-06, a 60-37 Romney district. Only a single Romney district, Pocatello's LD-29, voted for all three legislative Democrats on the ballot, while two others voted for two of the three. In total, Republicans hold an overwhelming 57 to 13 super-majority in the House.
Iowa State Senate
Iowa draws its congressional and legislative districts with an independent, nonpartisan commission that must strongly adhere to county and city integrity. Obama won the state 52-46, carrying just shy of a super-majority of 33 Senate districts to Romney's 17. However, Democrats only have a tenuous 26 to 24 edge in the chamber. Only one Democrat holds a Romney district, while a full eight Republicans hold Obama-won districts. The bluest district represented by a Republican, Sioux City's SD-07, gave Obama 57 percent of the vote. The median district voted for Obama 53-46, one point to the left of the state.
Iowa State House of Representatives
Republicans control the Iowa House of Representatives by a narrow 53 to 47 margin, relying on a slew of Obama districts to keep their majority. The president won 61 districts to Romney's 39: Republicans hold 18 won Obama seats, while Democrats only have four Romney districts. Republicans even hold two seats where Obama won over 57 percent and two more where he won at least 55 percent. If all four seats flipped, Democrats would have a majority. On the other hand Team Blue is only defending one fairly red seat that gave 53 percent to Romney, western Iowa's HD-12. The median seat backed Obama 51-47, two points to the right of the state.
Kansas State Senate
After intra-party Republican squabbling prevented the Legislature from passing a map, the courts intervened and redrew everything from scratch. They still give Republicans a strong advantage with 35 of 40 state senate districts voting for Romney and producing a Republican super-majority of 32 to 8. Only one Republican, Kay Wolf in the Kansas City suburbs, sits in an Obama district. Four Democrats sit in Romney districts, the reddest of which voted for him by just shy of 20 percent. Romney won the median seat 61-37, two points better than his statewide edge.
Kansas State House of Representatives
Kansas Democrats are in a better (well, less bad) position in the lower house, holding 33 seats to the Republicans' 72. Obama carried 29 districts and Romney carried the other 76. Republicans hold four Obama districts, the bluest being the Lawrence-area HD-45 at 55 percent Obama. By contrast, Democrats hold eight Romney districts, the reddest backing Romney with 65 percent. The median district went for Romney 62-38, six points to the right of the state.
New York State Senate
New York's Senate is perhaps the most egregiously gerrymandered chamber in the entire country with state Republicans pulling out all the stops to maintain their tenuous hold. Obama carried the Empire state 63-35 but only took the median district by a 56-43 margin, putting the Senate an insane 16 points to the right of the state. Democratic candidates won the popular vote by roughly 16 percent, yet Republicans maintained control of the chamber.
However, gerrymandering isn't the only thing keeping the GOP in power. Thanks to some complex maneuvering, the GOP managed to keep control after 2012 despite winning a minority of seats. Five Democrats have broken off from their party and formed the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), allying with the Republicans. One nominal Democrat, Brooklyn's Simcha Felder, sits in the Republican caucus. Two other Democrats are unwelcome in any caucus due to corruption. The party breakdown of the Senate is 25 members of the Democratic caucus, two corruptocrats, one Democrat who caucuses Republican, the five IDC members, and the 30 Republicans. In total this gives the Republicans and their allies a 36-25 edge in a state Obama won easily.
Republicans also have benefited from voters splitting their tickets. Overall Obama won an overwhelming 55 seats to Romney's eight, but Republicans hold 23 Obama districts. The bluest seat held by a Republican voted for Obama with 60 percent, while six others voted for the president by double-digits. The only red Senate seat Democrats hold is a 58 percent Romney seat, but it is represented by the aforementioned turncoat Felder. All five members of the IDC hold Obama-won districts that range from 54 percent Obama to 74 percent. The two caucus-free Democrats each hold seats where Obama won at least 88 percent of the vote.
In this map, members of the IDC are colored in solid yellow while turncoat Democrat Simcha Felder is in lighter yellow. The two Democrats without a caucus are gray.
New York State Assembly
In stark contrast to the state Senate, Democrats drew the Assembly lines. They produced a super-majority of 106 Democrats, 43 Republicans, and one Independence Party member who caucuses with the Democrats (colored here in green). There is also a much stronger alignment of Democrats winning Obama districts and Republicans Romney districts than in the Senate.
Republicans hold just 10 Obama districts: There bluest seat is the North Country's AD-115, at 62 percent Obama. By contrast, Democrats hold four Romney districts. This includes a 76 percent Romney district in Brooklyn, though the very conservative Democrat Dov Hikind won it. Obama carried the median Assembly district 62-37, three points to the right of the state: Because Democrats are so concentrated in New York City, it was probably inevitable any median seat would be to the right of the state even with Democrats drawing the map.
Oregon State Senate
Oregon is our final state and districts were produced by a legislative compromise that mildly favored Democrats. Obama's 55-42 victory gave him 19 districts to Romney's 11. However, Republicans sit in three Obama seats while holding all the Romney ones, keeping the Democrats at a slim 16-14 majority. The good news is that two of those Obama Republicans sit in seats he won by roughly 15 percent, making them very vulnerable in 2014. The median Senate seat went for Obama 55-43, similar to his statewide numbers.
Oregon State House of Representatives
Oregon's House districts are each half of one Senate seat. Obama won 39 of the 60 seats, but Republicans hold five of those districts. Because Democrats hold no Romney seats, they have a fairly small majority of 34 to 26. The chamber is a little more favorable to Republicans, with the median seat being three points to the right of the state.