Major party candidates with major party competition in the November 2012 state legislative elections

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2012 Competitiveness Overview
Competitiveness study logo 2012.jpg
Primary competition (state comparison)
Incumbents with no challenges at all in 2012
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 2012 Results   Star bookmark.png
Chart Comparing 2012 ResultsComparisons Between Years
Competitiveness IndexAbsolute Index
2012 State Legislative Elections
2012 Competitiveness Tracker
Competitiveness Studies from Other Years
2007200920102011

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 non-partisans. 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
Alaska 19 14 40 26 40 67.8% 22 16
Arizona 30 17 60 38 55 61.1% 26 12
Arkansas 35 15 100 48 63 46.7% 35 28
California 20 17 80 75 92 92.0% 4 1
Colorado 20 18 65 55 73 85.9% 6 11
Connecticut 36 30 151 123 153 81.8% 9 26
Delaware 21 9 41 15 24 38.7% 37 40
Florida 40 27 120 52 79 49.4% 30 21
Georgia 56 14 180 42 56 23.7% 43 43
Hawaii 25 15 51 32 47 61.8% 25 24
Idaho 35 23 70 54 77 73.3% 16 4
Illinois 59 25 118 40 65 36.7% 38 39
Indiana 25 14 100 60 74 60.0% 28 31
Iowa 26 21 100 65 86-- 68.3% 21 23
Kansas 40 31 125 85 116 70.3% 19 7
Kentucky 19 10 100 46 56-- 47.1% 34 38
Maine 35 33 151 149 182-- 97.6% 2 9
Massachusetts 40 13 160 50 63 31.5% 40 44
Michigan - - 110 108 108 98.2% 1 2
Minnesota 67 63 134 130 193 96.0% 3 13
Missouri 17 8 163 27 35 19.4% 44 37
Montana 26 22 100 80 102-- 81.0% 11 10
Nebraska 26 22 - - 22 84.6% 7 5
Nevada 12 12 42 31 43 79.6% 12 6
New Hampshire 24 23 400 314 337 79.5% 13 3
New Mexico 42 18 70 35 53 47.3% 32 27
New York 63 42 150 98 140 65.7% 23 28
North Carolina 50 31 120 72 103 60.6% 27 17
North Dakota 25 22 50 40 62 82.7% 8 15
Ohio 17 12 99 91 103 88.8% 5 18
Oklahoma 24 11 101 48 59 47.2% 33 36
Oregon 16 10 60 48 58 76.3% 14 30
Pennsylvania 25 12 203 96 108 47.4% 31 41
Rhode Island 38 17 75 35 52 46.0% 36 34
South Carolina 46 15 124 36 51 30.0% 41 42
South Dakota 35 21 70 48 69 65.7% 24 14
Tennessee 16 10 99 52 62 53.9% 29 25
Texas 31 16 150 50 66 36.5% 39 33
Utah 16 11 75 63 74 81.3% 10 8
Vermont 30 14 150 115 129 71.7% 18 32
Washington 26 18 98 71 89 71.8% 17 22
West Virginia 17 8 100 73 81 69.2% 20 20
Wisconsin 16 12 99 75 87 75.7% 15 19
Wyoming 15 2 60 20 22 29.3% 42 35

See also