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Redistricting big prize for legislatures

By United Press International   |   Nov. 3, 2010 at 3:46 AM   |   Comments

Republicans' Election Day success extended to legislatures across the United States, the National Conference of State Legislatures says.

The Alabama House and Senate, Indiana House, Ohio House, New Hampshire House and Senate, North Carolina House and Senate, Maine Senate and the Pennsylvania House all slid from the Democratic column to the Republican side, the bipartisan organization said on its Web site Wednesday.

The group said Republicans were headed toward historic levels, surpassing their 1952 numbers, when they controlled 3,650 legislative seats nationwide. Voters Tuesday decided more than 80 percent of the country's 7,382 state legislative seats.

The conference's Web site showed 22 Republican-controlled state legislatures, 16 controlled by Democrats, seven that are divided and four -- Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Washington -- that were undecided. Nebraska has a non-partisan, unicameral Legislature.

Before Tuesday's elections, Democrats controlled both chambers in 27 states and Republicans were the majority party in 14 states. Legislative control is split in eight states.

The conference said it's the first time Republicans have controlled the Alabama Legislature since post-Civil War reconstruction. The North Carolina Senate has gone Republican for the first time in 140 years.

Tuesday's election carried additional weight because next year state legislatures will draw new districts for the U.S. House, as well as their own state legislative lines, based on U.S. Census Bureau data. Winning parties get to do the redistricting.

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