A long time ago, in a country far far away… all the way back to 2009, Democrats seemed undefeatable, and Republicans were a secluded regional party that was going the way of the Whigs.
What a difference eight years makes. During President Obama’s tenure, Democrats have suffered losses of statewide executives, state legislatures, and/or federally elected Congressmen and Senators in 46 states. Only in California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and New Jersey saw a net positive growth of the outgoing President’s party.
Here’s the breakdown of where Democrats suffered defeats.
Total Disaster, a generational loss:
Democrats saw such a massive defeat in several states that would take a generation to repair the losses.
It’s hard to imagine it now, but less than a decade ago, Democrats still controlled huge portions of the South. After eight years of President Obama, there isn’t a single Southern State where Democrats control a majority of Congressmen, statewide executives, or state legislative positions. The losses here are the worst nationwide and especially staggering.
Alabama: Democrats lost all their statewide executive positions, including the Lt. Gov and the Commissioner of Agriculture. Additionally, they lost 66 percent (from three to just one) of their Congressmen, 65 percent of their state senators (from a majority of 23 to just eight), and 47 percent of their state House members (from the majority with 62 to 33).
Arkansas: The home of Bill Clinton had the greatest change of any state nationwide. Democrats lost all seven statewide elected executive positions, both Senators, 100 percent of their House seats, and the majorities in the state legislature. It was so bad locally for Democrats that they lost 66 percent of the state senators and 65 percent in the house.
Georgia: Despite their hopes that they’d be able to turn the Peach State blue in a presidential election, they had devastating losses in the last eight years. Three statewide executives, two Congressmen, eight state senators, and 14 state House seats switched from Democratic to Republican. They’re currently in the super minority in both bodies of the legislature.
Mississippi: During Obama’s tenure, Democrats lost 66 percent of their House seats (down to just one) and the majorities in both the state senate and house.
Missouri: Once a swing state with a heavy bench of statewide executive, Missouri has turned solid red. Democrats have been reduced from five statewide executives to just one, four House seats down from eight, and lost more than a third of their members in the state legislature. It doesn’t look like 2018 will bring them much hope as Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) is in one of toughest races in the country to retain her seat.
Oklahoma: All eight statewide elected executives, their sole Congressman, 73 percent of their state senators (16 in total), and 13 state house members.
Tennessee: The governorship, three Congressional seats, and more than half of their state legislative offices- nine state senators and 24 state house seats.
West Virginia: Similarly to Arkansas, Democrats lost four of six statewide executives, a Senate seat, all their House members, and the majorities in the state legislature, 14 state senators, and 24 House members lost their seats to Republicans.
Democrats also saw their numbers reduced substantially in the Midwest.
Iowa: Trump won the Hawkeye State by nearly 10 points, and on the state level, losses for Democrats were also devastating. They lost three of five state executives, a Senate seat, all but one House seat, and the majority in both houses of the legislature – 12 senators and 16 house members.
North Dakota and South Dakota: Once the home of ‘Prairie Populists,’ the state party has been devastated by the national Democratic Party’s leftward movement. The two states combined lost 80 percent of their Congressional seats, and hold just one Senate seat. The state legislature is in even worse shape, in both states’ house and senate they control less than 20 percent of the seats.
Wyoming: What Democratic Party? They have just three state senators out of 30 and nine House members out of 51.
Sizable loss will take several election cycles to win back:
Some states’ losses weren’t a total death blow to Democrats, but they’ll need several good election cycles to make up what was lost during the Obama years. Their bench is depleted, and they’ve lost part or all of the state legislature including in many swing states.
Colorado: Despite having gone for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, Colorado Democrats lost members in every branch of government. Since 2009, they lost half of their statewide executive positions (Treasurer and Secretary of State); a U.S. Senate seat; 2 Congressional seats; the majority in the state Senate; and a seat in the state house.
Michigan: Democrats are down big time in the former blue state. They’ve lost the governor’s mansion, three House seats, five state Senate seats, and 20 members of the state house.
Nevada: Even though the state went for Clinton in 2016 and Democrats recaptured the state legislature, it doesn’t make up for their cataclysmic losses in the 2010 and 2014 midterm. Republicans control every statewide executive office, and despite all their gains from the presidential years, Democrats still have fewer members of the state legislature in 2017 than they did in 2009.
North Carolina: Despite regaining the governor’s mansion in 2016, Democrats still have lost half of their statewide executives down from eight in 2009 to four. They also lost a U.S. Senate seat, more than 60 percent of their House seats, and the majority in the state legislature. It’s been such a dramatic turn for Democrats in the state Senate where they went from a majority to super minority in just eight years.
Ohio: No other swing state gives the Democrats the blues like Ohio. Having gone for Obama twice, Trump won the Buckeye State with the largest majority for anyone regardless of the political party since 1988. On a state level, Democrats might have seen it coming. Since 2009, they’ve lost all of the statewide executives, six Congressmen, three state senators, and 20 seats in the state house.
Wisconsin: Another purple state that went red, not just nationally but on a state level. Democrats lost four of five statewide executives, a U.S. Senate seat, two House seats, and the majorities of in both houses of the state legislature.
Several blue states also saw Democrats with significant losses either federally or in the state government.
Connecticut: This loss isn’t all Obama’s fault. Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy has done such a terrible job in the state. He’s taken down his state party along with his approval ratings. For the first time since the mid-90s, Republicans have tied Democrats in the state Senate and have a large minority in the state house. There’s a very good chance the GOP could capture legislature and the governorship in 2018, the first time that happened since 1974.
Maine: Trump won Maine’s 2nd-Congressional district, making him the first Republican since 2000 to receive any electoral college votes from New England. Democrats on the state level also lost their governor’s mansion, a House seat, the majority in the state Senate, and 18 seats in the state house.
Minnesota: During the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans won the majority in the state legislature for the first time since 1914. After losing it in 2012, they regained control in 2016. The GOP winning back the state Senate seemed almost unfathomable before Obama’s presidency.
Some traditionally Republican states got redder.
Kentucky: Despite having gone red for several decades, Democrats used to maintain a hold on the state government. Since President Obama, however, they’ve lost the governor’s mansion, a House seat, and majorities in both branches of the state legislature. The only thing they have going for them at this point is two statewide elected Democrats that have their eye on running for higher office.
Indiana: Mike Pence’s home state may have voted for Obama in 2008, but it’s been getting more Republican ever since. Democrats lost three House seats, eight state senate seats, and the majority in the lower chamber of the state legislature.
Montana: Another state where Democrats have lost in nearly every branch of government. With three statewide executives, a U.S. Senator, nine state senators, and the majority in the state house all going to Republicans.
Small but significant losses:
In other states, Democrats’ losses were significant, but not an avalanche. If they abandon being the party of special interests, social justice warriors, and #BlackLivesMatter, they might have chance to make some progress winning back some control of these states.
Alaska: While they won the governor’s mansion, Democrats lost the Senate seat and half a dozen seats in the state legislature.
Arizona: Democrats lost the governorship, the attorney general, and a House seat.
Delaware: In Joe Biden’s home state, Democrats lost the Treasurer’s office and six state senators. The new Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long will have to abandon her state senate district in 2017, forcing a special election in the swing district. If Republicans win her seat, they’ll recapture the upper chamber of the state legislature for the first time since 1974.
Florida: When Alex Sink left the Comptroller’s office for an ill-fated run for governor, she abandoned the Democrats last statewide executive office. Obama’s party has absolutely no bench in the Sunshine State.
Idaho: Democrats never really had much, but their sole House seat is now Republican, and they only have 17 members in the entire state legislature.
Illinois: Republicans gained control of the governor’s mansion and a few state legislative seats.
Maryland: Larry Hogan (R) captured the Governorship and Republicans, while still being in the minority, have their biggest numbers in the state house since 1919.
Massachusetts: Another dark blue state with a popular Republican governor, they’ve also added to their numbers in the legislature.
Nebraska: In the Midwestern state, Democrats only had one big prize, and that was a U.S. Senate seat, and it went Republican in 2012.
New Hampshire: Democrats gained on the federal level, winning a Senate seat but lost the governorship and both houses of the state legislature.
New Mexico: Susanna Martinez won Republicans the governor’s mansion in 2010 and has worked hard at building their bench in the state and winning more than half-a-dozen seats in the State House. The GOP also won the state Second Congressional district in 2010.
New York: Republicans have regained their nearly century-long control of the state Senate after briefly losing control in 2008. They also flipped six House seats over the last eight years, turning most of Upstate and parts of Long Island red.
Oregon: In 2016, the GOP won their first statewide elected office in nearly two decades. On top of Dennis Richardson winning the Secretary of State position, Republicans added a seat in both houses of the state legislature.
Pennsylvania: While Democrats won the governor’s mansion they lost a U.S. Senate seat, seven House seats, and more than two dozen seats in the state Senate and House.
South Carolina: Another state where Democrats weren’t working with much to begin with, but still they’ve lost a House seat, the Education Superintendent position, more than half a dozen state legislature seats.
Texas: In 2009, Democrats were just two state House seats away from recapturing the lower chamber, but after eight years of President Obama that’s all gone now. Republicans won a Congressional seat, a state senate district, and 19 state house seats.
Utah: Democrats lost their only House seat in the state, and have been reduced to less than 20 percent of the state House and Senate.
Vermont: After six years under Democratic control, Republicans retook the governor’s mansion in 2016, they’ve also gained five seats in the state House.
Virginia: Democrats lost the majority in the state Senate and nine state House seats. However, unlike other states in the South, they have a bench when they won the Lt. Governor and Attorney General’s office.
Washington: Republicans bounced back in the state legislature, winning five state senate seats and 17 state House races.