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Some Good News For Dems For A Change: Trump Could Cost GOP A Ton Of State Legislatures

UNITED STATES - JULY 04: State Senators meet up in the Senate Chamber at the State Capitol, Governor Paterson orders them to stay this fourth of July weekend and work on the issue at the State Capital in Albany. (Photo by Enid Alvarez/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON ― Democrats are finally paying attention to state politics.

Over the past few years, major donors, national Democrats, the White House and state officials have begun organizing to win back state houses that have been dominated by Republicans since 2010.

And even as the presidential race tightens nationally, Democrats are increasingly confident the party will be able flip a significant number of state legislative chambers, riding a wave of disgust with GOP nominee Donald Trump. At least 14 state House or Senate chambers are well within reach, according to a Democratic memo circulated this week.

Presidential election years are better for Democrats, as the party’s voters tend to sit out midterm cycles, when Republicans rack up big wins down-ballot at the state level. And 2014, with ISIS sweeping across the Middle East and the country panic-stricken over Ebola, was a particularly bad year for Democrats, meaning a sizable number of blue seats are now in Republican hands, ripe for retaking.

As Congress has become snarled in dysfunction, power has shifted laterally to the White House and the Supreme Court, and has devolved downward to states. Republicans have made major gains there, and have enacted an often-times extreme conservative agenda that voters are now reacting against. (In Kansas and Louisiana in particular, where the most extreme experiments played out, the states have become utter basket cases ― so much so that Louisiana recently elected a Democratic governor.)

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