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Incumbents with no primary or general election challengers in the 2011 state legislative elections

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2011 Competitiveness Overview
3Competitive 2011.jpg
Primary competition (state comparison)
Incumbents with no challenges at all in 2011
Incumbents defeatedVictorious challengers
Primary competitiveness
Major party challengers (state comparison)
List of candidates with no competition
Open seats (state comparisons)
Impact of term limits on # of open seats
Long-serving senatorsLong-serving reps
Star bookmark.png   Chart Comparing 2011 Results   Star bookmark.png
Chart Comparing 2011 ResultsComparisons Between Years
Competitiveness IndexAbsolute Index
2011 State Legislative Elections
Competitiveness Studies from Other Years

There were 578 seats in four states with a general election in 2011. We took a look at each of the states to see how many state legislative incumbents had no primary or general election challenge in 2011.

Our main findings:

  • The incumbent chose to run for re-election in 473 (81.8%) of the 578 districts holding state legislative elections in 2011.
  • In 236 (49.9%) of those 473 districts, the incumbent faced no challenger in the primary or general election.

The ranking of the four states based on percentage of open seats is as follows:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Louisiana
  3. Virginia
  4. Mississippi

Because only four states held elections in 2011, the sample size is small when conducting analysis. It is therefore helpful to compare the states holding elections in 2011 to the 46 states that held elections in 2010. Here is how the four states would have ranked in 2010, based on the percentage of incumbents without opposition.

  • New Jersey: 1st
  • Louisiana: 43rd
  • Virginia: 45th
  • Mississippi: 47th

States compared by primary and general competition

Legend:      States with state legislative term limits

The state that is least competitive as defined by the % of its seats where the incumbent did not have any opposition in 2011 is defined as #4, while the state that is most competitive as defined by the % of its seats where the incumbent did have opposition is defined as #1; that is, 1 = "most competitive", 4 = "least competitive".

State Senate at stake Incumbents w/o opposition House at stake Incumbents w/o opposition  % w/o opposition Rank
Louisiana 39 18 105 48 45.8% 2
Mississippi 52 22 122 75 54.8% 4
New Jersey 40 0 80 0 0% 1
Virginia 40 14 100 59 52.1% 3

See also