FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, right, and his running mate Lt. Governor candidate Juliana Stratton celebrate as they wave to supporters after they won over Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner in Chicago. Democrats who gained new or expanded powers in state elections are gearing up for a left-leaning push on gun control, universal health care and legal marijuana. Meanwhile, some Republican legislatures that have cut taxes and limited union powers are adjusting to a new reality of needing to work with a Democratic governor. The midterm elections Tuesday, Nov. 6, increased Democratic relevance in state capitols that have been dominated by Republicans during the past decade. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Democratic wins could mean state action on health care, guns

November 11, 2018 - 7:40 am

Democratic gains in the 2018 elections could lead to a push for expanded health coverage, gun control and recreational marijuana in some states.

Democrats won complete control of the governor's office and both legislative chambers in six new states — Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and New York. Leaders there already are making plans for an aggressive leftward agenda.

All told, Democrats gained seats in 62 of the 99 partisan state legislative chambers and also picked up seven governors' seats.

Yet the overall outcome of the election was a continued trend toward unified control of state governments. Republicans could hold trifecta control in as many as 22 states. Democrats will have unified control in 14.

The number of politically divided state governments is near its 60-year low point.

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