GOP, Dems each seek U.S. statehouse gains

Oct. 25, 2008 at 11:40 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Both Republicans and Democrats face challenges in retaining their parties' control of state legislatures around the United States, political analysts say.

Six battleground states may see their state legislatures flip from Republican to Democratic majorities, while in six others the reverse may be true, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Even though Democrats appear to be in line to make the most gains in the U.S. Congress, that may not translate to some statehouses, where voters' concerns are often seen through the lens of such local issues as schools and sales taxes, the newspaper said.

"There are vulnerable Democrats in traditionally Republican seats, and the natural dynamic is that Republicans would win back at least some of these," Lawrence Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, told the Times. "But the name brand for the Republican Party has taken a hit, and these lower-party races could be one of the places that that shows up. It's a mixed-up year."

In Indiana, for instance, Democrats control the House 51 to 49 but Republicans hope to gain the majority by picking up seats that Democrats narrowly won in 2006, the Times said.

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