The Executive Summary: Republicans outperform Democrats in 2012 down ballot elections

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November 15, 2012

Edited by Geoff Pallay

MADISON, Wisconsin: It has been two weeks since the last Executive Summary, and much has happened since then. What happened exactly? Oh, right. The election! In this edition, we'll bring an update of what transpired on November 6, 2012 from perspective of 22 state executive branches.



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This year, 22 states held regularly-scheduled state executive official elections. In those elections, a total of 37 state executive seats and 57 down ballot seats were up for election. Wisconsin also held two special recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch on June 5, 2012. Of the 94 seats that were up for election, the partisan breakdown was:

After election night, there are now:

In the top ballot races, both parties could point to victories, such as the Attorney General race in Pennsylvania for Democrats and West Virginia for Republicans. However, down ballot, Republicans had the more successful evening, particularly by defeating two incumbent commissioners each in Arizona and Montana (two).

In general, most seats were retained by the party previously in control. A total of 16 seats had partisan change.

The two races that remain undecided are:

Notable results

Election analysis

2012 State Executive Election Partisan Breakdown
Party Before 2012 Election After 2012 Election Net Change
Democratic 51 50 -1
Republican 38 43 +5
Independent (Nonpartisan) 4 1 -3
TOTALS 931 vacant 94
2012 State Executive Election Analysis
Party Open Seat Winners Defeated Incumbents New State Executives
Democratic 13 6 15
Republican 11 1 18
Independent (Nonpartisan) 1 0 1
TOTALS 25 7 34