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Parties swap seats in Tuesday's special elections

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September 21, 2011

By Tyler Millhouse

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On Tuesday, Georgia, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire each held special elections for one of their state house seats. Democrats and Republicans each managed to capture a seat from the opposing party. In addition, Republicans retained control of the Georgia seat, with two Republicans proceeding to a runoff election. So far this year, 70 special elections have been decided and another 17 are expected. Of those 70 seats, 10 (14.3%) have changed partisan hands -- six were captured by Republicans, and four by Democrats. For comparison, of the 376 legislators termed-out in 2010, 61 (16.2%) of their seats changed partisan hands. However, of those 61, 53 were captured by Republicans, and only six were captured by Democrats -- two were captured by independents.

A breakdown of the three special elections is as follows:

Partisan impact

Republican and Democrats each managed to flip a seat on Tuesday, Democrats in New Hampshire and Republicans in Massachusetts. However, neither victory will have a dramatic effect on the balance of power.

NH State House Partisan Balance

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 160
     Republican Party 236
     Independent 1
     Vacancy 3
Total 400

MA State House Partisan Balance

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 125
     Republican Party 35
Total 160

See also

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