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2012 competitiveness in New Hampshire state legislative elections

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July 15, 2012


By Tyler King

MADISON, Wisconsin: New Hampshire's legislative elections in 2012 are more competitive than most of the country, based on Ballotpedia's Competitiveness index which captures the extent of electoral competitiveness exhibited in state legislative elections.

About the Competitiveness index:
The Ballotpedia state legislative competitive index looks at three factors: is the incumbent running for re-election in a district; if so, does he or she draw a primary challenge; and are there two major party candidates in the general election.

Ballotpedia's index is created by summing the three percentages and then dividing by three. Each state is given 1 point for each percentage. Then, the points are added up and divided by three to establish the index rating. 1 is least competitive and 100 equals most competitive.

The comprehensive 2012 state legislative competitive index will be released following the completion of the primaries in all 44 states with 2012 state legislative elections. It will examine all 6,015 state legislative seats that are up for election on November 6, 2012.

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.

New Hampshire in 2012:
New Hampshire's filing deadline was on June 15, 2012. It was the 41st state to be analyzed by Ballotpedia staff and the inclusion of its data brought the national index to 37.59 in 2012.

In New Hampshire, there are 424 total state legislative seats with elections in 2012 and nearly all current incumbents are seeking re-election.

Of those 424, 24 are State Senate seats and 400 are State House seats. A total of 311 incumbents (73.4%) are seeking re-election this year. Of those 311 running for re-election, 144 (46.3%) face primary opposition. Additionally, there are 127 (30%) districts where an incumbent did not seek re-election within that district. For November's general elections, there will be 337 (79.5%) seats where more than one major party candidate will appear on the ballot.

Nationwide Index
The current nationwide index is 36.90
• 44 states analyzed •
(updated August 23, 2012)

Comparison to 2010:
In 2010, New Hampshire ranked 1st in overall competitiveness.

  • 24.1% of Districts were open seats, increasing to 30.0% in 2012.
  • 74.2% of incumbents faced primary opposition, decreasing to 46.3% in 2012.
  • 86.8% of Districts had more than one major party candidate in the general election, compared to 79.5% in 2012.
  • New Hampshire's 2010 competitiveness index was 61.7, compared to 53.9 in 2012.

Question 2 (2006)
2012 is the first election cycle to be affected by the 2006 ballot measure (Question 2), which amended the New Hampshire Constitution to change rules for redistricting in New Hampshire. The new rules state that “when the population of any town or ward, according to the last federal census, is within a reasonable deviation from the ideal population for one or more representative seats, the town or ward shall have its own district of one or more representative seats." As a result, the number of districts in New Hampshire grew from 103 in 2010 to 204 in 2012.

See also

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