(Recasts, updates Republican gains)
By Karen Pierog
CHICAGO Nov 3 (Reuters) - The surge that gave Republicans control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday also hit state legislatures, giving Republicans power to potentially cement their hold in Congress for the next decade.
In most states, legislatures will be redrawing electoral districts for the U.S. House -- an adjustment of boundaries every 10 years that tends to favor the party in charge of each state house.
The big Republican Party wins at the state level give it the edge in reinforcing its strength in the U.S. House.
Republicans took control of at least state 18 chambers from Democrats, according to Tim Storey, an elections analyst at the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
"The Republicans really swamped the Democrats," he said on Wednesday, adding that Republicans will be in the best position to control congressional redistricting since the modern era of remapping began in the 1970s.
The party in control of the White House almost always loses legislative seats in midterm elections and 2010 was no exception.
Republicans saw a net gain of at least 500 seats, giving them control of chambers in states including Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the NCSL reported.
Storey said probably five more chambers remain in play, including the New York Senate.
Election results so far have Republicans in charge of 54 chambers, with Democrats controlling 38 and the two parties even in one chamber, Storey said, adding that Republicans will fill the most state legislative seats since 1928.
Heading into Tuesday's election to fill more than 80 percent of the nation's 7,382 state legislative seats, Democrats controlled both chambers in 27 state legislatures and Republicans were dominant in 14.
Control was split in eight states, while Nebraska's single-chamber legislature is nonpartisan. (Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Vicki Allen)