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November-December 2010 St@teside

November Elections Bring Changes to State Landscapes

The elections on November 2, 2010 drastically changed the political landscape in many states. In addition to broader changes in leadership, with governorships switching parties, there were several states that voted on ballot initiatives related health care reform. Before the election on November 2, 2010, 24 states had Republican governors, and 26 had Democratic governors. Twenty-nine states now have Republican governors, 20 have Democratic governors (as Minnesota’s election results were finalized on December 6), and one state has an independent. 

Four states went from having Republican governors to electing Democratic governors: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Vermont. Rhode Island has an outgoing Republican governor and an Independent governor-elect. Eleven states went from Democratic to Republican governors: Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Republicans picked up over 675 legislative seats across the country, resulting in eleven states gaining Republican majorities in both houses: Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Four states now have newly divided legislatures: Colorado, Iowa, and New York based on election results and Louisiana based on a party switch. Republicans will control both houses in 25 states, up from 14 before the election. The Oregon House of Representatives is evenly split with each party having 30 members. 
Arizona and Oklahoma both passed ballot initiatives amending their state constitutions to include language prohibiting laws that require individuals, employees, or health care providers to participate in any health care system. These initiatives are aimed at the individual mandate to purchase insurance or face a penalty within the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act.

For more information, see the National Governors Association 2010 Gubernatorial Election Results and Governors Roster, and the National Conference of State Legislature’s Legislature Party Control map. The text of the Arizona and Oklahoma initiatives is also available.