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Impact of term limits on state legislative elections in 2014

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2012
Term Limits
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Impact of Term Limits by Year
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State senates
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State houses
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State legislatures with term limits
Term limits on the ballot
Fourteen state senate chambers and thirteen state house chambers which held general elections on November 4, 2014, included some state legislators who were unable to run for re-election in 2014 because of their state's legislative term limits.
  • A total of 63 state senators were termed-out in 2014. This represented 19% of the 331 total state senate seats up for election in the 14 term-limited state senates with elections in November 2014.
  • A total of 160 state representatives were termed-out. This represented 12.7% of the 1,261 total seats up for election in the 13 term-limited states with elections in November 2014.

Altogether, 223 current state legislators were forced to leave office after the elections because of term limits. This was 14% of the 1,592 state legislative seats up for election in the 14 term-limited states with 2014 elections, and about 3.7% of the 6,047 state legislative seats that were up for election altogether in 2014, including the non-term-limited states.

Both percentages are smaller than in 2012, when 14.3 percent of 1,786 state legislative seats up for election in the 14 term-limited states and about 4 percent of 6,015 state legislative seats up for election overall were termed out.

See also: State legislative elections, 2014

State senates

Main article: Impact of term limits on state senate elections in 2014

There were 42 state senates holding general elections in November 2014. In 14 of these states, state senators were subject to term limits. Louisiana is the only state with state senate term limits that did not have a general election in 2014.

A total of 63 current state senators were ineligible to run for re-election in November because of term limit laws in their state. This included:

  • 22 incumbent Democratic state senators
  • 24 incumbent Republican state senators
  • 17 nonpartisan state senators.

Going into the 2014 elections, the Democratic Party was the majority party in four of the 14 state senates with term limits. The Republican Party was the majority in 9 of the 14 state senates with term limits. Nebraska's state senate is term-limited and officially Nonpartisan.

  • In four states, more Democrats were term-limited out than Republicans. In California, the majority party was Democratic. In Arkansas, Florida and Montana, the majority party was Republican.
  • In seven states, more Republicans were term-limited out than Democrats. In Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota, the majority party was Republican. In Colorado, Maine and Nevada, the majority party was Democratic.
  • In one state, Ohio, equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats were term-limited in November 2014. Heading into the election, the majority party in Ohio was Republican.
  • There were no Arizona senators affected by term-limits in 2014.

State houses

Main article: Impact of term limits on state representative elections in 2014

There were 45 state houses holding general elections in November 2014. In 13 of these states, state house terms were subject to term limits. There are 15 states with state legislative term limits, but Louisiana did not hold a State House election in 2014 and Nebraska does not have a state house.

160 current state representatives were ineligible to run for re-election in November because of term limit laws in their state. This included:

  • 73 incumbent Democratic state representatives
  • 87 incumbent Republican state representatives

Going into the 2014 elections, the Democratic Party was the majority party in four of the 13 state houses with term limits. The Republican Party was the majority in eight of the 13 state houses with term limits. In one state, Nevada, equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats were term-limited in November 2014. Heading into the election, the majority party in Nevada was Democratic.

  • In four states, more Democrats were term-limited out than Republicans. In California, Colorado and Maine, the majority party was Democratic. In Ohio, the majority party was Republican.
  • In eight states, more Republicans were term-limited out than Democrats. In Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and South Dakota the majority party was Republican.
  • In one state, Nevada, equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats were term-limited in November 2014. Heading into the election, the majority party in Nevada was Democratic.

Impact on parties

Republican representatives took a larger hit from term limits in the 2014 state legislative elections than the Democratic Party, both in terms of how many individual incumbent legislators the Republican Party lost (113, versus 95 for the Democratic Party) and in terms of how many state legislative chambers lost more Republicans (12, versus 10 for Democrats).

Breakdowns

Republican representatives took a larger hit from term limits in the 2014 state legislative elections than the Democratic Party, both in terms of how many individual incumbent legislators the Republican Party lost (113, versus 95 for the Democratic Party) and in terms of how many state legislative chambers lost more Republicans (12, versus 10 for Democrats).

Incumbents

The following table details the number of state legislators unable to run for re-election due to term limits broken down by party and chamber. Republicans, who controlled about 11% more seats across the country, lost 19% more incumbents to term limits than Democrats.

Party # of termed senators # of termed representatives Total
Democratic 22 73 95
Republican 24 87 113
Nonpartisan 17 0 17

Chambers

The following table details the number of chambers where one party lost more incumbents due to term limits.

Party Senates with most losses Houses with most losses Total
Democratic 4 6 10
Republican 5 7 12
Equal D/R losses (or nonpartisan chamber) 4 0 4

Comparison to 2012

In 2012, a total of 255 seats were termed out in state senates and state houses combined. This was 14.3 percent of the 1,786 state legislative seats up for election in the 14 term-limited states with 2012 elections, and about 4 percent of the 6,015 state legislative seats that were up for election altogether in 2012, including the non-term-limited states.

Incumbents

Party # of termed senators # of termed representatives Total
Democratic 33 85 118
Republican 38 84 122
Nonpartisan 7 0 7

Chambers

Party Senates with most losses Houses with most losses Total
Democratic 4 6 10
Republican 5 7 12
Equal D/R losses (or nonpartisan chamber) 4 0 4

See also