Primary change: Three incumbents defeated in largely uneventful Massachusetts primaries
By Geoff Pallay
MADISON, Wisconsin: In a rare Thursday election, voters in Massachusetts visited the polls to select primary winners across the state. With the state legislature firmly in the hands of Democrats, many of the primaries yesterday ultimately decided who would be their legislator on Beacon Hill. A total of three legislative incumbents were defeated, with a four incumbent heading to a recount trailing by seven votes. The three legislators defeated had each served at least 10 years in the State House.
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 will update those figures. This update focuses on Georgia and Wyoming. A total of three incumbents fell to opponents on September 6, 2012. That brings the total incumbents defeated in 2012 legislative primaries to 161.
Of the 161 incumbents that have lost a primary in 2012, 60 are Democratic incumbents and 101 are Republican incumbents.
A total of 189 Massachusetts legislative incumbents filed for re-election. Twenty-one incumbents faced a primary, and opponents were victorious in three of those races. Thus, 14.29 percent of opposed incumbents were defeated by their primary challenger. Only 11.1 percent of incumbents actually faced a primary.
The three total incumbents who lost last night is significantly higher than the 1 incumbent who lost a 2010 primary in Massachusetts. Massachusetts' legislature is highly partisan, with Democrats holding 162 of 200 legislative seats. Less than one-third of the 200 seats will have a major party candidate from both parties on the general election ballot.
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.
+++A 12th incumbent lost in the Georgia August 21, 2012 runoff. Eleven incumbents lost in the July 31 primary.
&&&A 4th incumbent is currently losing by seven votes, as of September 7. There will be a recount.
- 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