Legislative Lowdown: Identifying competitive New Mexico elections in 2014

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March 24, 2014

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2014 New Mexico Legislative Lowdown

Table of Contents
Majority control
Margin of victory
Competitiveness

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By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

The New Mexico House of Representatives saw 15 districts with competitive or mildly competitive elections in 2012. The gap in partisan balance of just four seats sets the chamber up for hotly contested elections again in 2014. Republicans would need to pick up three seats to take the majority, something they haven't had since controlling the chamber after the 1952 elections.[1] The nine districts with competitive elections in 2012 will be key in 2014. Additionally, Republicans have their eyes on the seat being vacated by Nathan Cote (D).[2] Cote flipped the district in a mildly competitive 2012 election.

March 11 was the signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run for the New Mexico House of Representatives. Elections in all 70 House districts will consist of a primary election on June 3, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014.

See also: 2014's state legislative elelections and New Mexico House of Representatives elections

Majority control

Heading into the November 4 election, the Democratic Party holds the majority in both state legislative chambers. New Mexico's office of Governor is held by Susana Martinez (R), making New Mexico one of the 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

BattlegroundRace.jpg
The New Mexico House of Representatives is one of 20 state legislative chambers noted by Ballotpedia staff as being a battleground chamber. The New Mexico House has a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republican of four seats, which amounts to 5.7 percent of the chamber. In 2012, a total of 15 districts were competitive or mildly competitive. There were nine districts where the margin of victory was 5 percent or less in the 2012 elections. Another six districts had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.
New Mexico House of Representatives
Party As of August 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 37 Pending
     Republican Party 33 Pending
Total 70 70
2015
2013
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Margin of victory

House

All 70 seats in the House were up for election in 2012. Nine of those districts held competitive elections with a margin of victory ranging from 0 to 5 percent. Another six districts held mildly competitive elections with a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent. There were 34 districts where only one major party candidate appeared on the general election ballot.[3]

The districts with elections in 2014 which held competitive or mildly competitive elections in 2012 are:

Competitive

Mildly competitive

Previously mildly competitive, now unopposed

Competitiveness

Using the official candidate lists from each state, Ballotpedia staff analyzes each district's election to look at the following circumstances:

  • Is the incumbent running for re-election?
  • If an incumbent is running, do they face a primary challenger?
  • Are both major parties represented on the general election ballot?

In New Mexico's 2014 elections, those circumstances break down as follows:[4]

  • There are 9 open seats (12.9%) in the chamber.
  • A total of 11 incumbents (18.0%) face a primary challenger.
  • Just 33 districts (47.1%) will feature a Democratic and Republican candidate on the general election ballot.

The following table puts the 2014 data into historical context. Overall index is calculated as the average of the three circumstances.

Comparing New Mexico Competitiveness over the Years
Year  % Incs retiring  % incs rank  % Incs facing primary  % Incs primary rank  % seats with 2 MPC  % seats with 2 MPC rank Overall Index Overall Index Rank
2010 4.3% 46 20.9% 15 48.6% 38 24.6 42
2012 18.8% 24 31.9% 17 47.3% 32 32.7 27
2014 12.9% Pending 18.0% Pending 47.1% Pending 26.0 Pending

House

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 37 (53%) of the 70 districts up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. A total of 22 Democrats and 15 Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 33 (47.1%) of the 70 districts up for election. Nine of those seats held competitive elections in 2012 with a margin of victory ranging from zero to five percent. Six other elections were mildly competitive, with a margin of victory of five to ten percent.

Primary challenges

A total of 11 incumbents will face primary competition on June 3. Nine incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 50 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition.

Retiring incumbents

Nine incumbent representatives, four Democrats and five Republicans, are not running for re-election, while 61 (87.1%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Thomas Taylor Ends.png Republican House District 01
Rick Miera Electiondot.png Democratic House District 11
Ernest Chavez, Sr. Electiondot.png Democratic House District 12
Edward Sandoval Electiondot.png Democratic House District 17
James White Ends.png Republican House District 20
Nathan Cote Electiondot.png Democratic House District 53
William Gray Ends.png Republican House District 54
Donald Bratton Ends.png Republican House District 62
Anna Crook Ends.png Republican House District 64

See also

External links

References