The 10 states in the Midwest/Great Lakes region have undergone significant shifts in party control in their State Houses. Following the 2004 election, eight of these 10 states had a Republican Speaker of the House. Today, nine of the 10 states have a Democratic Speaker of the House. The Midwest has been seen as a battleground the last several years for party control and for the Presidential races, but it has also shown dramatic power shifts.
During these last three elections, the Democratic Party has gained seats in ALL 10 states in both the 2006 election and the 2008 election. This has resulted in a net gain of 101 seats for the Democratic Party in this 10-state region since 2004. The most dramatic shift has been in Minnesota where the Democratic Party has gained 20 seats in the last two elections. Illinois and Indiana have changed the least with a shift of four seats each.
This sets up the Democratic Party nicely for the next decade if they are able to maintain their majorities in these nine states and control the reapportionment process in 2011. Control of the legislative agenda for the next decade has already been sealed by the Democratic Party in many of these states before the 2010 election is even over.