In 44 states, one party controls that state’s top executive offices—governor, attorney general, and secretary of state—known as a state government triplex. This is up from 30 states with a state government triplex in 2010.
There is a Republican state government triplex in 24 of those 44 states. Democrats have 20. Both figures represent the largest number of triplexes for either party since Zenger News began tracking this data in 2010. Six states have divided state executive leadership, which is the smallest number since 2010.
In states where the governor appoints the attorney general or secretary of state, Zenger News considers the governor’s party to hold the office until the governor appoints a specific person to the position. If a state does not have all three triplex offices, Zenger News considers that state a triplex if one party controls both triplex offices in that state.
In 2011 and 2012, Republicans held 23 state government triplexes, only one below their 2023 peak. In 2019 and 2020, Democrats held 17 state government triplexes, three below their 2023 peak.
Republicans had their largest net increase in state government triplexes from 2010 to 2011. In 2010, Republicans held 13 triplexes and increased that number to 23 the following year. Democrats’ largest net increase was after the 2018 elections, when they went from 12 triplexes in 2018 to 17 in 2019.
After the 2022 elections, Democrats gained triplexes in Maryland and Massachusetts, and Republicans gained a triplex in Iowa. In January 2023, Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) nominated Al Schmidt (R) as secretary of the commonwealth, which changed Pennsylvania from a Democratic triplex to divided government.
Three states—Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi—are holding state executive elections in 2023. Mississippi is a Republican triplex, and Kentucky and Louisiana have split control of those offices.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is the only Democrat among that state’s triplex officials, and two outside elections forecasters rate the gubernatorial race as Lean Democratic. Term-limited Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is the only Democrat among that state’s triplex officials, and two outside elections forecasters rate the gubernatorial race is rated as Lean Republican. Republicans currently hold all three triplex offices in Mississippi. Donald Trump (R) won all three states in the 2020 presidential election.
Produced in association with Ballotpedia
Edited by Suparba Sil and Virginia Van Zandt