Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Arizona State Legislature

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November 2, 2012

By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

Arizona's State Legislative Elections in 2012
Senate seats Contested senate seats House seats Contested house seats
30 18 (60.0%) 60 21 (35.0%)

Tucson: Arizona: There are 90 total legislative seats with 2012 elections in Arizona, where polling places are open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Mountain Time.[1]

In Arizona, there are six state senate districts where the partisan registration of Democratic and Republican voters is less than 10 percentage points apart. These districts would be considered "competitive" when looked at strictly with respect to vote party affiliation. The six state senate districts in Arizona are District 4, 8, 9, 10, 18 and 26.

Going into the election, Republicans in Arizona hold two-thirds of the seats in both chambers of the legislature after padding their majorities in 2010 as the party's wave swept across the nation.[2] However, redistricting following the 2010 census left many Republicans unhappy, complaining that the state redistricting commission favored Democrats and stressed creation of competitive districts, districts considered winnable by either major party, at the expense of other redistricting goals.[2] The combinations of the redistricting changes, the growing percentage of registered independents and the higher turnout in a presidential election are creating expectations that more districts are in play in 2012 and that the gains made by Republicans in 2010 were a "high tide that will recede in November."[2]

While Republicans currently have a solid majority at 21-9 in the state senate, there are five incumbent Republicans retiring, compared to three Democrats. With eight of thirty seats open, it is conceivable that Democrats could swing the chamber in their favor.

In the wake of the primary, it has been noted that the Tea Party fervor which erupted in 2010 has subsided somewhat, and the state senate may now be headed for a more centrist path after November.[3]

Republicans currently hold 40 of 60 seats in the state house. Fourteen Republicans are retiring, while only eight Democrats are retiring (one Independent is retiring as well).

Of the incumbents up for election in 2012, 59 (65.54%) of them are running for re-election. A total of 39 of 90 (43.3%) districts will see more than one major party candidate in the general election. Three state house incumbents, Jerry Weiers, Jim Weiers, and Nancy G. McLain and two state senators, Linda Gray and Ron Gould, were termed out by term limit restrictions.

Here are a few races to watch:



  • District 18: Democrats are hoping that Iraq war veteran Corey Harris will pose a challenge for Republican incumbents Jeff Dial and Bob Robson in this important swing district.[4]

Arizona State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 9 13
     Republican Party 21 17
Total 30 30

Arizona House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 19 24
     Republican Party 40 36
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 60 60

See also