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Geoff Pallay/2012 congressional elections review

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Geoff Pallay






Geoff Pallay, Special Projects Director
Congressional Team
Ballotpedia






Contact:
geoff.pallay@ballotpedia.org
Biography:
Geoff Pallay


What happened on November 6

  • More than $1 billion spent on Congressional races
  • Congress remains divided with Democratic control in Senate, Republican control in House
  • First election using redistricting maps based on the 2010 Census
  • Highly successful night for incumbents

U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 51 53
     Republican Party 47 45
     Independent 2 2
Total 100 100
  • 33 seats up for election.
    • 28 seats stayed with same party
    • Of the other 5:
      • 1 went from D to GOP (Nebraska)
      • 2 went from GOP to D (Indiana, Massachusetts)
      • 1 went from I to D (Connecticut)
      • 1 went from GOP to I (Maine)
United States Senate Elections Results in 2012
State Incumbent Incumbent Party Incumbent Running? 2012 Winner Partisan switch?
Arizona Jon Kyl Ends.png Republican No Republican Party Jeff Flake No
California Dianne Feinstein Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Dianne Feinstein No
Connecticut Joe Lieberman Grey.png Nonpartisan No Democratic Party Chris Murphy Yes
Delaware Tom Carper Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Tom Carper No
Florida Bill Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Bill Nelson No
Hawaii Daniel Akaka Electiondot.png Democratic No Democratic Party Mazie Hirono No
Indiana Richard Lugar Ends.png Republican Yes Democratic Party Joe Donnelly Yes
Maine Olympia Snowe Ends.png Republican Yes Independent Angus King (I) Yes
Maryland Ben Cardin Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Ben Cardin No
Massachusetts Scott Brown Ends.png Republican Yes Democratic Party Elizabeth Warren Yes
Michigan Debbie Stabenow Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Debbie Stabenow No
Minnesota Amy Klobuchar Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Amy Klobuchar No
Mississippi Roger Wicker Ends.png Republican Yes Republican Party Roger Wicker No
Missouri Claire McCaskill Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Claire McCaskill No
Montana Jon Tester Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Jon Tester No
Nebraska Ben Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic No Republican Party Deb Fischer Yes
Nevada Dean Heller Ends.png Republican Yes Republican Party Dean Heller No
New Jersey Bob Menendez Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Bob Menendez No
New Mexico Jeff Bingaman Electiondot.png Democratic No Democratic Party Martin Heinrich No
New York Kirsten Gillibrand Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Kirsten Gillibrand No
North Dakota Kent Conrad Electiondot.png Democratic No Democratic Party Heidi Heitkamp No
Ohio Sherrod Brown Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Sherrod Brown No
Pennsylvania Bob Casey Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Bob Casey Jr. No
Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Sheldon Whitehouse No
Tennessee Bob Corker Ends.png Republican Yes Republican Party Bob Corker No
Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison Ends.png Republican No Republican Party Ted Cruz No
Utah Orrin Hatch Ends.png Republican Yes Republican Party Orrin Hatch No
Vermont Bernie Sanders Grey.png Nonpartisan Yes Independent Bernie Sanders No
Virginia Jim Webb Electiondot.png Democratic No Democratic Party Tim Kaine No
Washington Maria Cantwell Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Maria Cantwell No
West Virginia Joe Manchin Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Democratic Party Joe Manchin No
Wisconsin Herb Kohl Electiondot.png Democratic No Democratic Party Tammy Baldwin No
Wyoming John Barrasso Ends.png Republican Yes Republican Party John Barrasso No

U.S. House Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 193 201
     Republican Party 242 234
Total 435 435

Outside influences

Congressional races influenced by things like ballot measures, presidential race

  • In Colorado, two targeted GOP congressmen won re-election
  • In Minnesota, highly successful night up and down the ballot includes defeat of incumbent Chip Cravaack and near defeat of Michelle Bachmann.
  • In Ohio, Republicans own 12 of 16 congressional seats
2012 United States House General Election Results
Party Total Winners Incumbent Winners Defeated Incumbents Incumbent Re-Election Rate** Non-Incumbent Winners
Democratic 201 151 10 93.8% 50
Republican 234 198 17 92.1% 35
TOTALS 435 349 27 92.8% 85
**Note: The incumbent re-election rate is calculated by dividing the total incumbents winners by the total incumbents who appeared on the general election ballot.

Targeted Races by Each Party

Democratic Party

Red to Blue

  • Successful (Democrat won): 28/55 (50.9%)
  • Unsuccessful (Republican won): 27/55 (49.1%)

Republican Party

Patriot Program

  • Successful (Republican won): 18/33 (54.5%)
  • Unsuccessful (Democrat won): 15/33 (45.5%)

Young Guns

  • Successful (Republican won): 13/42(31.0%)
  • Unsuccessful (Democrat won): 29/42 (69.0%)


This was the first election using newly drawn redistricting maps. Seven states have one single member, but 43 states used new maps.

Two states perfectly encapsulate redistricting and the benefits it can provide to parties in power.

Illinois

Members of the U.S. House from Illinois -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 8 12
     Republican Party 11 6
Total 19 18

North Carolina

Members of the U.S. House from North Carolina -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 7 4
     Republican Party 6 9
Total 13 13

A brief look at Tuesday's election results

  • Democrats increase advantage in Senate
  • Republicans hold House -- but Dems get net-gain of seats
  • DCCC vs. NRCC
    • DCCC successful in 41.8% of chosen active races
    • NRCC successful in 41.3% of chosen active races
  • Incumbent performance this year vs. 2010
    • 2010: 53 incumbents lost in the general election
    • 2012: 27 incumbents lost in the general election
  • Republicans won both incumbent vs incumbent cross-party races, in Iowa and Ohio
  • Michigan 11th District's bizarre result
    • 349 incumbents won re-election. Incumbents were re-elected at an 93% rate
  • 18 elected officials of other offices (State Senate, executive, etc) successfully made the leap to Congress
  • Of the 24 races where a challenger outraised an incumbent in the third quarter, the challenger was victorious in 11 of those races
    • Democratic Party 8 Democratic
    • Republican Party 3 Republican