Democrats are increasingly optimistic that they can flip dozens of state legislative seats in Tuesday’s election, expanding the party’s clout in Midwestern and Southern states that have been at the forefront of Republican efforts to pass some of the nation’s most conservative policies.

The battle for more than 5,000 state legislative seats has been largely overshadowed by the contentious presidential and congressional elections, but the outcome has significant political consequences. Flipped legislatures would give Democrats a once-in-a-decade influence over redrawing congressional boundaries and would create “a wall of Democratic power” against the nation’s increasingly conservative federal courts, said Jessica Post, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

The DLCC is hoping to flip as many as seven legislative chambers this year, while eroding GOP majorities in such states as Florida and Wisconsin. In the final days of the campaign, Democrats have an edge to take majorities in the Minnesota Senate, the Iowa House of Representatives and both chambers of Arizona’s legislature, according to strategists in both parties and independent analysts, though races in other key states — including in Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas — remain close….