Drawing maps: Trifecta power | American Enterprise Institute
It’s a mistake to read too much into the results of last Tuesday’s elections. But one important story has received little attention and that is changing party control of state government. A trifecta is a term used to describe united party control in a state government. Having control of the levers of power in a state government can be enormously important when redistricting occurs after each decennial Census. Last Tuesday, the Democrats successfully put another trifecta in their column when they flipped the state House and Senate in Virginia to their party. They already held the governorship. Nationally, the Democrats now have 15 trifectas compared to 21 for the Republicans, according to the authoritative Ballotpedia.
Over the course of the Obama presidency, Republicans gained more than 900 seats at the state legislative level. Given the importance of united political party control in the redistricting process, the Democrats took notice, and after the 2016 campaign, they created the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to blunt the GOP’s edge. The group is chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder, who told the New York Times that the group would work to deny Republican trifectas. Republicans responded by creating their own organization, the National Republican Redistricting Trust.
In the Louisiana gubernatorial election on November 16 incumbent Democratic governor John Bel Edwards faces Republican Eddie Ripsone. If the GOP wins the governorship, it will give them another trifecta because Republicans control both houses of the legislature there. If Republican Matt Bevin, who has called for a recanvass of Tuesday’s Kentucky gubernatorial results, eventually concedes, then Republicans will lose another trifecta.