Major party candidates with major party competition in the November 2012 state legislative elections
There were 6,015 seats in 44 states with a general election in 2012. We took a look at each of the states to see how many state legislative districts have only one major party candidate running in the general election.
At any given time, roughly 98% of all 7,383 state legislators are either Democratic or Republican. In Nebraska, all 49 state senators are elected as nonpartisans. Thus, in the remaining 49 states, either a Democratic or Republican candidate is virtually guaranteed victory in a general election. Given that major party candidates win nearly 100% of the time, a candidate running without any major party opposition is essentially assured election -- even if there are third party candidates.
Once a state releases official primary candidate lists, Ballotpedia staff analyzes the data to determine primary competitiveness. All 44 states holding 2012 state legislative elections have been analyzed by Ballotpedia.
Our main finding:
- There was more than one major party candidate in 3,709 (61.7%) of the 6,015 seats with state legislative elections in 2012.
States compared by major party opposition in the general election
Note: Nebraska is officially a nonpartisan legislature. Thus, in order to include that election in the index, we counted any district where a candidate faced no general election competition as qualifying under the "no major competition" category. In the 24 districts with elections, there were 7 candidates that face no general election competition.
|State||Senate at stake||Senate With Major Party Opposition||House at stake||House With Major Party Opposition||Total With Major Party Opposition||% with Major Party Opposition||Major party competitive rank||Overall competitive rank|
- State legislative elections, 2012
- Impact of term limits on state legislative elections in 2012
- 2012 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index
- Incumbents with no primary challenger in the 2012 state legislative elections
- Open seats in the 2012 state legislative elections