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Incumbents with a primary challenger in the 2012 state legislative elections

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2012 Competitiveness Overview
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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 are 5,984 state legislative districts, in 43 states, with a seat up for election on November 6, 2012. We took a look at each of the 43 states to see how many state legislative incumbents who chose to run for re-election in 2012 faced or will face a primary challenger.

Once a state releases official primary candidate lists, Ballotpedia staff analyzes the data to determine primary competitiveness. Thus far, 18 states have been analyzed.

Our main findings:

  • The incumbent chose to run for re-election in 1,688 (77.8%) of the 2,169 analyzed districts holding state legislative elections in 2012.
  • In 1,263 (74.8%) of those 1,688 districts, the incumbent faced no challenger in the primary.
  • Thus, only 425 (25.2%) of incumbents faced a primary opponent.
  • Thus far, 2 states have held primaries. In those states, 48 incumbents faced an opponent in a primary.
  • Of those 48 incumbents who faced a primary, 8 were defeated.
State Senate at stake Incumbents w/o primary House at stake Incumbents w/o primary  % w/o primary Primary challenger rank Overall competitive rank
Arkansas 35 17 100 57 84.1% 16 -
California 20 8 80 28 64.3% 4 -
Idaho 35 13 70 23 51.4% 1 -
Illinois 59 36 118 80 77.9% 11 -
Indiana 25 19 100 69 83.8% 15 -
Iowa 26 13 100 68 83.5% 14 -
Montana 26 11 100 54 79.3% 12 -
Nebraska 25 11 -- -- 68.8% 7 -
Nevada 12 5 42 20 66.7% 5 -
New Mexico 42 22 70 41 68.5% 6 -
North Carolina 50 30 120 60 70.3% 10 -
Ohio 17 14 99 72 85.2% 17 -
Oregon 16 11 60 51 93.9% 18 -
Pennsylvania 25 17 203 157 82.4% 13 -
South Dakota 35 20 70 31 68.9% 8 -
Texas 31 21 150 76 69.6% 9 -
Utah 16 5 75 39 59.7% 2 -
West Virginia 17 11 100 47 62.2% 3 -
Totals: 512 281 1657 975 74.8% NA NA

See also