Just seven states split their ticket during the 2020 cycle in statewide races

Following up on a report from earlier this week in which Smart Politics documented the biggest Republican winning streaks in statewide elections, this report details the largest streaks on the Democratic side.

Through the 2020 cycle, Democrats have won the most recent statewide election(s) in 18 states, including two states hosting races next month.

Virginia is tied for eighth for the party with 13 consecutive Democratic wins since the GOP swept the Commonwealth’s constitutional offices in 2009. Elections for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general will be on the ballot in November.

New Jersey Democrats, meanwhile, have won the last six statewide elections since Governor Chris Christie’s reelection victory in 2013 – tied for the party’s 12th longest active streak. The party’s ticket of Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver is expected to prevail in the November election.

Overall, Democrats in California lead the way for the party, notching 30 straight wins since 2008. Republicans last won a statewide contest in 2006 when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was reelected and Steve Poizner picked up the open seat for state insurance commissioner.

Republicans currently own winning streaks in seven states that best the Democratic run of 30 in a row in California: Texas (114), Utah (40), Idaho (39), Oklahoma (38), South Dakota (38), Wyoming (32), and South Carolina (31).

New York owns the longest streak with Democrats not losing any of the 24 statewide elections dating back nine cycles through 2004.

In addition to California, Democrats in Connecticut (23 in a row), Minnesota (22), and Hawaii (12) have active winning streaks since 2008.

Democrats in five other states, including the aforementioned Virginia (13), currently have amassed double-digit consecutive wins: Rhode Island (17), Delaware (16), New Mexico (13), and Illinois (10).

If Minnesota Democrats sweep the state’s constitutional offices in 2022, it will mark the first time any party in the Gopher State swept every statewide race during a 14-year stretch.

Just eight states saw the electorate split their ticket and elect both Republicans and Democrats in statewide races in the most recent (2020) cycle: Arizona, Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Vermont.

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  1. Flickertail-Pembina on October 15, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Hypertheticals: a) In the 2018 election for Insurance Commissioner of CA, the Democratic party only narrowly held on to the post, with a 670746-vote margin, or 5.8%. Had the “No Party Preference” candidate won, the streak would have ended in 2016 with 20 wins. b) In the 2018 election for ‘consumer services Commissioner’ of FL, the R nominee, “Matt” Caldwell, barely lost the election, with a 6753-vote (0.08%) deficit, to Nicole Heather Fried, the D winner. Had as few as 3377 votes switched sides, the Republican party would now have a 12-win streak.

    (Even with a re-election win by “Steve” Poizner, who previously served as I C of California as a Republican, VA would still not be among the “top 5” states with the largest active winning streaks.)

  2. Daniel Fox on October 17, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Wasn’t Republican Bubba McDonald re-elected to the Georgia PSC in the Jan. 5, 2021 runoff?

    • Dr. Eric Ostermeier on October 17, 2021 at 11:20 am

      Yes, and the PSC seats are statewide contests, not district-wide – thank you for catching this. The map is updated above.

  3. Flickertail Pembina on October 17, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    In contrast to Stacey Abrams and Donald John Trump in their respective elections, the losing challenger for District 4 of the Georgia Public Service Commission (though elected on a statewide basis), Daniel Blackman, “…never alleged that the PSC election was stolen…” (per an article in the AJC).

  4. Flickertail-Pembina on October 20, 2021 at 5:53 am

    WI: If state supreme court elections are counted (even in States that have technically non-partisan contests) the de facto streak of the Democrats is two, the presidential contest and the spring election of the party-preferred Jill Judith Karofsky (w/ 55%). In between the 2018 and 2020 elections, the Republican-preferred Brian Keith Hagedorn won by a 0.5% margin, similar to the 0.6% margin of statewide winner “Joe ‘I’m Irish'” Biden. [In nearby OH, the Republicans essentially won two, one of them by Justice Sharon Kennedy (seat 5) with 55.1%, whereas the third contest was a de facto Democratic win by former Secretary of State J L “Jen” Brunner (seat 6) with 55.3%, higher than either of the R-backed statewide victors.]

    Like GA and WI, AZ also had its electorate split their tickets, with the Democrats winning the presidential, Class 3 US senate (special), and one of three Corporation Commission seats that were up (all gains from the gop), while the Republicans held on to the other two Corporation Commission seats. But arguably the most impressive winners in these heterodox States are VT Governor Philip Brian Scott and WA Secretary of State Kimberly Marie Wyman. Both have repeatedly survived the pro-Democratic tidal waves at the presidential level; while Scott has won by double-digit margins and has won as lieutenant governor as well in 2012, Wyman has the honor (?!) of being – and having been – the sole R statewide officeholder since early 2021 – as well as from 2013 to early 2017 – of the entire mainland Pacific Coast.

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