The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) has identified several states where legislative races in the 2023-2024 election cycle are important, while declaring it a “top political priority” to fend off Democrat-affiliated groups targeting Republican majorities in state chambers.
“A mere 33 seats are standing in the way of Democrats taking back eight legislative chambers across five states, to take control of a majority of state legislatures in the country,” an RSLC memo reads, according to Fox News.
Currently, Republicans control 56 state chambers while Democrats hold 41, after the Democratic Party flipped four state chambers—the Michigan House, the Michigan Senate, the Minnesota Senate, and the Pennsylvania House—and did not lose any state chamber it already controlled following the 2022 elections.
In 2022, “state Republicans defied the odds by facing down an onslaught in national liberal spending and an incredibly challenging political environment to still preserve their hold on an overwhelming majority of state legislatures throughout the country,” according to the memo.
Despite Democrats’ success in 2022, the RSLC pointed out in their memo that the GOP gained supermajorities that cycle in both chambers of the Florida Legislature, the Iowa Senate, the North Carolina Senate, the Wisconsin Senate, the South Carolina House, the Montana Senate, and both chambers in Oregon.
The memo also noted that Republicans picked up seats in liberal states like Maine, New Mexico, and Hawaii.
In the New York State Assembly, Republicans gained six seats in the state House and one seat in the state Senate in the 2022 elections.
Moving forward, the RSLC noted that Republicans need “an abundance of resources to catch up to the spending levels by Democrats,” as they compete against spending by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), as well as by Democratic-allied groups such as States Project and Majority Forward.
The DLCC raised $50 million in the 2022 election cycle.
The memo lays out the RSLC’s plans for 2023 and 2024. In the first year, the RSLC aims to maintain the GOP majority in the Virginia House, but flip the Virginia Senate. Meanwhile, it seeks to defend GOP supermajorities in Louisiana and Mississippi, while holding the seats gained in the last election in New Jersey.
In the Virginia Senate, the Democratic Party currently holds 22 seats, leading the Republican Party by four seats.
“In 2023, we have already seen state Democrats switch parties and join Republican-led legislatures in Louisiana and North Carolina, giving Republicans a veto-proof supermajority in the Louisiana House and North Carolina House, bringing our total number of Republican supermajorities up to 25 nationwide,” the memo says.
In Louisiana, state Rep. Francis Thompson switched to the Republican side in March after almost five decades as a Democrat. A month later, state Rep. Tricia Cotham announced her switch to the GOP in North Carolina. Both cases resulted in Republicans gaining a supermajority in each of the states’ lower chambers.
As for 2024, the RSLC aims to defend the GOP majority in both state chambers in five states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Texas—as well as the Pennsylvania Senate, according to the memo.
Meanwhile, the RSLC wants to flip the Pennsylvania House, and the state legislatures in Minnesota and Michigan.
Currently, Democrats control 17 state government trifectas, including Minnesota and Michigan, while Republicans hold 22, including New Hampshire and Georgia. A trifecta means that one party controls the governorship and both state chambers.
The RSLC also seeks to make meaningful gains in seven liberal states—namely Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington.
The DLCC has also set out its goals for the 2023-2024 election cycle. According to its website, it wants to flip the Virginia House, the Pennsylvania Senate, and both chambers in Arizona and New Hampshire.
“Heading into a pivotal election cycle with Joe Biden on the top of the ticket, Democrats will be taking nothing for granted up-and-down the ballot,” the RSLC memo reads. “This list remains a preliminary target list and is subject to change throughout the course of the election cycle because we are not taking anything for granted as a 50-state organization.”
“While Republicans will be focused on retaking control of the White House, it is our duty to stop the Democrats from taking a majority of legislative chambers across the country.”