LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: 2020 Election Update

Philip Weiden | December 1, 2020

Philip Weiden

2020 marked a big elective year with races on all levels across the country. There was, of course, the Presidential election, as well as Senate and House races that would ultimately decide who would be controlling each House. In addition, state legislatures across the country were also up for grabs. Control of the state legislatures will ultimately decide redistricting for the next decade.

For control of the House of Representatives, the Democrats suffered major unanticipated losses. They will still hold their majority but barely. Republicans picked up anywhere from five to 15 seats and only needed 17 to control the House. This will be the slimmest majority on record for a party that won the White House. Republicans won back seats in California and some seats in New York. They also won back several in Florida that they lost in the “Blue Wave” of 2018.

Control of the Senate is still undecided. Currently Republicans have 50 seats, while the Democrats have 48. Two Georgia Senate seats remain undecided until a runoff election in January. Democrats would need to win both to then take control of the chamber with Vice President Kamala Harris voting to break a tie. The odds are with the Republicans, but anything can happen.

At the state legislative level in New York, Democrats won 42 seats in the state Senate, which means they now control redistricting for 2022. This allows them to put the GOP into permanent minority status in both houses of the legislature for the foreseeable future. In the rest of the country, not one state legislative chamber flipped to the Democrats.

At the Presidential level, Joe Biden is President-elect with more than 300 electoral votes. He won the popular vote by more than 6 million votes.

Stay tuned for updates on other races as 2020 moves forward.

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.