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Nevada's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

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Nevada's 3rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 12, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Joe Heck Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Joe Heck Republican Party
Joe Heck.jpg

Nevada U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Nevada.png
The 3rd congressional district of Nevada held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.
This is the 3rd congressional district prior to the 2011 redistricting.

Republican incumbent Joe Heck won re-election on November 6, 2012, defeating three challengers, with 50% of the vote.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 16, 2012
June 12, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Nevada has a closed primary system, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by May 12. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6.[2]

See also: Nevada elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Joe Heck (R), who was first elected to the House in 2010. Heck won re-election on November 6, 2012.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Nevada's 3rd congressional district was located in the southern portion of the state and included the portion of Clark County that is south of Las Vegas.[3]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party John Oceguera
Republican Party Joe HeckGreen check mark transparent.png
Constitution_Party#Independent_American_Party_of_Nevada Tom Jones
Independent Jim Murphy

June 12, 2012,, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Constitution_Party#Independent_American_Party_of_Nevada Independent American Party

Independent Independent Candidate

Election Results

General Election

U.S. House, Nevada District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic John Oceguera 42.9% 116,823
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Heck Incumbent 50.4% 137,244
     Independent American Party of Nevada Tom Jones 2.1% 5,600
     Independent Jim Murphy 4.7% 12,856
Total Votes 272,523
Source: Nevada Secretary of State "U.S. House of Representatives Results"

Primary Results

The primary was held on June 12.[8]

Nevada's 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Oceguera 50.4% 7,966
Stephen H. Frye 16.8% 2,659
Jesse Holder 13.3% 2,099
Barry Michaels 8.5% 1,346
Gerald Sakura 6.3% 989
James F. Haning II 4.7% 736
Total Votes 15,795

Nevada's 3rd Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Heck 90.1% 20,798
Chris Dyer 9.9% 2,298
Total Votes 23,096

Race background


Using the Federal Election Commission's October Quarterly campaign finance filings, the Brennan Center for Justice at The New York University School of Law published a report on October 22nd focusing on the 25 House races rated most competitive by The Cook Political Report, including the race for Nevada's 3rd. The report examined the relative spending presence of non-candidate groups, candidates, and small donors in these races - "which will likely determine which party will control the House." [9]

Nevada's 3rd was considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings. Republican incumbent Joe Heck was challenged by John Oceguera (D) in a district that was evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.[11]

Nevada's 3rd District has been included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization has specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[12]

Incumbent Joe Heck was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on offense and increase their majority in 2012.[13]

After the election, the Sunlight Foundation listed four races where outside spending likely pushed the winner over the top. Heck was listed as one of the four, spurred on by more than $2 million in spending by independent groups, including the American Action Network and the National Republican Campaign Committee.[14]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Nevada

Nevada gained a congressional seat following the 2010 Census, bringing its total representatives to four. After the 2011 redistricting, the 3rd district still covers the southern tip of Nevada.

Registration statistics

As of October 25, 2012, District 3 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the Nevada Secretary of State:

Nevada Congressional District 3[15]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 3 282,191 108,119 109,288 64,784 Republican 1.08% 18.56%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Nevada's 3rd District became less Democratic because of redistricting.[16]

  • 2012: 51D / 49R
  • 2010: 52D / 48R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Nevada's 3rd congressional district has a PVI of Even, which is one of nine even districts in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 55-45 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 53-47 percent over John Kerry (D).[17]

District history


On November 2, 2010, Joe Heck was elected to the United States House. He defeated incumbent Dina Titus (D), Barry Michaels (Independent), Joseph P. Silvestri (Libertarian), and Scott David Narter (Independent American).[18]

United States House, Nevada General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoseph John Heck 48.1% 128,916
     Democratic Dina Titus Incumbent 47.5% 127,168
     Independent Barry Michaels 2.4% 6,473
     Libertarian Joseph P. Silvestri 1.5% 4,026
     Independent American Scott David Narter 0.5% 1,291
Total Votes 267,874

Campaign donors

Joe Heck

Joe Heck (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 15, 2012$835,475.46$278,773.06$(94,211.89)$1,020,036.63
Pre-primary[20]May 23, 2012$1,020,036.63$215,859.22$(102,006.32)$1,133,889.53
July Quarterly[21]July 15, 2012$1,133,889.53$240,442.00$(87,288.59)$1,287,042.94
October Quarterly[22]October 15, 2012$1,287,042.94$358,018.22$(558,863.76)$1,086,197.40
Running totals

Steven Oceguera

John Oceguera (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[23]March 31, 2012$185,452.98$377,896.02$(84,295.46)$479,053.54
Pre-primary[24]May 30, 2012$479,053.54$81,140.36$(121,894.39)$438,299.51
July Quarterly[25]July 15, 2012$438,299.51$229,433.49$(43,645.37)$624,087.63
October Quarterly[26]October 15, 2012$624,087.63$353,095.06$(558,262.67)$418,920.02
Running totals

See also


  1. Politico "2012 Election Map, Nevada"
  2. Nevada Secretary of State "Important Election Dates," Accessed July 26, 2012
  3. Nevada Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed September 25, 2012
  4. Boulder City Review "Tearing Down Heck," accessed December 16, 2011
  5. Fox5 "Reid backs Oceguera in Nevada House race," accessed December 16, 2011
  6. Barry Michaels for Congress "Official Campaign Website"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Clark County Website "Candidate Filing" March 19, 2012
  8. http://www.nvsos.gov/SilverState2012pri/congressional.aspx#AllRace1011
  9. Brennan Center for Justice, "Election Spending 2012: 25 Toss-Up House Races," October 22, 2012
  10. The Cook Political Report, "House: Race Ratings", updated October 18, 2012
  11. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  12. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  13. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  14. Sunlight Foundation "Four House races where outside money may have pushed the needle" November 7, 2012
  15. Nevada Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 18, 2012
  16. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Nevada," September 2012
  17. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  19. Federal Election Commission "Joe Heck April Quarterly," Accessed July 2, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission "Joe Heck Pre-primary," Accessed October 17, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission "Joe Heck July Quarterly," Accessed October 17, 2012
  22. Federal Election Commission "Joe Heck October Quarterly," Accessed October 17, 2012
  23. Federal Election Commission "Steven Oceguera April Quarterly," Accessed July 2, 2012
  24. Federal Election Commission "Steven Oceguera Pre-primary," Accessed October 17, 2012
  25. Federal Election Commission "Steven Oceguera July Quarterly," Accessed October 17, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission "Steven Oceguera October Quarterly," Accessed October 17, 2012