Primary competitiveness in 2014 state legislative elections

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2014 Competitiveness Overview
Competitiveness2014.jpg
Primary competition (state comparison)
Incumbents defeatedVictorious challengers
Primary competitiveness
Major party challengers (state comparison)
Candidates with no challenges at all in 2014
Open seats (state comparisons)
Impact of term limits on # of open seats
Long-serving senatorsLong-serving reps
Star bookmark.png   Chart Comparing 2014 Results   Star bookmark.png
Chart Comparing 2014 ResultsComparisons Between Years
Competitiveness IndexAbsolute Index
2014 State Legislative Elections
State legislative incumbent turnover in 2014
Competitiveness Studies from Other Years
200720092010201120122013

The number of contested primaries decreased in 2014 from prior years, from 19.5 percent in 2012 to 16.8% percent in 2014. In 2014 there were 6,057 seats up for grabs in the 46 states holding state legislative elections. There were 250 nonpartisan primaries: California and Washington hold blanket primaries, and Nebraska is a nonpartisan legislature.

In 2012, many states were holding elections under new district maps from the 2010 redistricting process. Newly redrawn districts can create opportunities for new candidates to make strong challenges for the district. In some cases, districts were redrawn in such a way that automatically left the seat open, without an incumbent to seek re-election.

  • There was a possibility of 10,623 primary elections in 2014.
  • Of those 10,623 possible primaries, 1,787 (16.8%) were contested.
  • Democratic Party A total of 684 Democratic primaries were contested: 165 state senate seats and 519 state house seats.
  • Republican Party There were 1,017 contested Republican primaries: 204 state senate seats and 813 state house seats.
Contested primaries in 2014 state legislative elections
State Senate seats at stake Possible primaries Total % contested House seats at stake Possible primaries Total % contested
Alabama 35 70 20 28.57% 105 210 46 21.90%
Alaska 14 28 2 7.14% 40 80 13 16.25%
Arizona 30 60 13 21.67% 60 60 18 30.00%
Arkansas 18 36 4 11.11% 100 200 22 11.00%
California 20 20 10 50.00% 80 80 65 81.25%
Colorado 18 36 2 5.56% 65 130 11 8.46%
Connecticut 36 72 4 5.56% 151 302 7 2.32%
Delaware 10 20 3 15.00% 41 82 9 10.98%
Florida 20 40 9 22.50% 120 240 36 15.00%
Georgia 56 112 19 16.96% 180 360 43 11.94%
Hawaii 13 26 9 34.62% 51 102 21 20.59%
Idaho 35 70 12 17.14% 70 140 32 22.86%
Illinois 19 38 2 5.26% 118 236 27 11.44%
Indiana 25 50 10 20.00% 100 200 15 7.50%
Iowa 25 50 13 26.00% 100 200 17 8.50%
Kansas 0 -- -- -- 125 250 34 13.60%
Kentucky 19 38 6 15.79% 100 200 23 11.50%
Maine 35 70 5 7.14% 151 302 19 6.29%
Maryland 47 94 26 27.66% 141 134 76 56.72%
Massachusetts 40 80 9 11.25% 160 320 39 12.19%
Michigan 38 76 23 30.26% 110 220 81 36.82%
Minnesota 0 -- -- -- 134 268 14 5.22%
Missouri 17 34 4 11.76% 163 326 41 12.58%
Montana 25 50 16 32.00% 100 200 41 20.50%
Nebraska 25 50 11 22.00% -- -- -- --
Nevada 11 22 6 27.27% 42 84 25 29.76%
New Hampshire 24 48 11 22.92% 400 408 66 16.18%
New Mexico 0 -- -- -- 70 140 18 12.86%
New York 63 126 19 15.1% 150 300 29 9.7%
North Carolina 50 100 20 20.00% 120 240 32 13.33%
North Dakota 24 48 0 0.00% 48 48 4 8.33%
Ohio 17 34 10 29.41% 99 198 42 21.21%
Oklahoma 25 50 13 26.00% 101 202 33 16.34%
Oregon 16 32 1 3.13% 60 120 19 15.83%
Pennsylvania 25 50 7 14.00% 203 406 60 14.78%
Rhode Island 38 76 9 11.84% 75 150 24 16.00%
South Carolina 0 -- -- -- 124 248 31 12.50%
South Dakota 35 70 5 7.14% 70 140 10 7.14%
Tennessee 17 34 12 35.29% 99 198 33 16.67%
Texas 15 30 10 33.33% 150 300 48 16.00%
Utah 14 28 8 28.57% 75 150 38 25.33%
Vermont 30 26 1 3.85% 150 208 8 3.85%
Washington 25 25 5 20.00% 98 98 21 21.43%
West Virginia 17 34 5 14.71% 100 134 41 30.60%
Wisconsin 17 34 8 23.53% 99 198 35 17.68%
Wyoming 15 30 8 26.67% 60 120 30 25.00%
Total 1,098 2,117 390 18.4% 4,958 8,932 1,397 15.6%

Possible primaries

There is a possibility of 10,623 primary elections in 2014. Almost all districts hold the possibility of two partisan primaries, one Democratic primary and one Republican primary. There are 250 nonpartisan primaries: California and Washington hold blanket primaries, and Nebraska is a nonpartisan legislature. These states hold just one primary election per district. Additionally, some districts employ multi-member districts. For example, New Hampshire's 400 House of Representatives seats are contained within 204 districts, giving the possibility of 408 partisan primaries.

See also