Primary change: Minnesota voters defeat longest-serving state house Republican
By Geoff Pallay
Two of the states that held primaries last night -- Connecticut and Minnesota -- nominate most general election candidates via a primary convention process. Thus, there are generally only a handful of actual primaries. This year was no different, as only 20 incumbents between the two states actually faced a primary, which is 6.27 percent of the 319 incumbents running for re-election in Connecticut and Minnesota.
On July 26, 2012, Ballotpedia released an analysis of the rate at which incumbents are being defeated by challengers in state legislative primaries. That study was conducted roughly halfway through the primary season, and found that 76 incumbents had been defeated through the first 48 percent of primaries. After each primary, we update those figures. This update focuses on Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin. A total of 11 incumbents fell to opponents on August 14, 2012. That brings the total incumbents defeated in 2012 legislative primaries to 151.
Of the 151 incumbents that have lost a primary in 2012, 56 are Democratic incumbents and 95 are Republican incumbents.
A total of 161 Connecticut legislative incumbents filed for re-election. Nine incumbents faced a primary, and opponents were victorious in four of those races. Thus, 44.44 percent of opposed incumbents were defeated by their primary challenger.
The four defeated incumbents is a tremendous uptick from the last set of legislative primaries in Connecticut. In 2010, no incumbents were defeated in legislative primaries in Connecticut.
A total of 111 Florida legislative incumbents filed for re-election. Thirty-six incumbents faced a primary, and opponents were victorious in three of those races. Thus, 8.33 percent of opposed incumbents were defeated by their primary challenger.
The three total incumbents who lost last night is significantly higher than in 2010 primaries, when no incumbents were defeated.
A total of 158 Minnesota legislative incumbents filed for re-election. Eleven incumbents faced a primary, and opponents were victorious in one of those races. Thus, 9.09 percent of opposed incumbents were defeated by their primary challenger. Steve Smith (R) was defeated by Cindy Pugh. Smith has served in the House since 1991.
In 2010, there were two incumbents defeated in Minnesota legislative primaries.
A total of 94 Wisconsin legislative incumbents filed for re-election. Sixteen incumbents faced a primary, and opponents were victorious in two of those races. Thus, 12.50 percent of opposed incumbents were defeated by their primary challenger.
In 2010, one Wisconsin incumbent was defeated in a legislative primary.
The next state legislative primary takes place Tuesday, August 21 in Wyoming.
Cumulative table of results
|Individual State Results||Nationwide Cumulative Results|
|State||Primary date||Total Incumbents Running||Total Incumbents Facing Primary||Total Incumbents Defeated||% Incumbents Defeated***||Total Incumbents Defeated||Total Incumbents Facing primary||% Incumbents Defeated***|
|***Note: The percent is calculated by dividing the total number of incumbents who lost by the number of incumbents who actually faced a primary. It is not using the total number of incumbents who ran for re-election.
+++Note: As of August 15, 2012, there is one remaining race involving an incumbent that is too close to call.
- Incumbents defeated in 2012's state legislative elections
- State legislative elections, 2012
- 2012 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index
- Ballotpedia's Competitiveness Analysis for 2012
- Major party candidates with no major party challengers in the November 2012 state legislative elections
- Open seats in the 2012 state legislative elections
- Incumbents with a primary challenger in the 2012 state legislative elections