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Difference between revisions of "Open seats in the 2010 state legislative elections"

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{{CA201toc}}'''By Geoff Pallay and Leslie Graves'''
 
{{CA201toc}}'''By Geoff Pallay and Leslie Graves'''
  
There are [[state legislative elections, 2010|6,125 state legislative districts with a seat up for election]] on November 2, 2010, in 46 states.  We took a look at each of the 46 states to see how many state legislative incumbents chose to run for re-election in 2010.   
+
There are [[state legislative elections, 2010|6,125 state legislative districts]], in 46 states, with a seat up for election on November 2, 2010.  We took a look at each of the 46 states to see how many state legislative incumbents chose to run for re-election in 2010.   
  
 
Our main findings:
 
Our main findings:
  
* In 1,140 (18.6%) of the 6,125 seats up for election on November 2, the incumbent is not running for re-election, either because he or she voluntarily chose not to run again, or because of [[state legislatures with term limits|term limits]].
+
* In 1,140 (18.6%) of the 6,125 seats up for election on November 2, the incumbent did not run for re-election, either because he or she voluntarily chose not to run again, or because of [[state legislatures with term limits|term limits]].
 +
* In 4,985 (81.4%) of the 6,125 seats up for election on November 2, the incumbent ran for re-election.
 
* Adjusting for term limits, '''86.6% of state legislative incumbents who were legally able to run again in 2010 chose to run again.'''
 
* Adjusting for term limits, '''86.6% of state legislative incumbents who were legally able to run again in 2010 chose to run again.'''
* In 4,985 (81.4%) of the 6,125 seats up for election on November 2, the incumbent is running for re-election.
 
  
 
Comparing states:
 
Comparing states:
  
* New Mexico, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois and Kansas have the lowest ratio of open seats; that is, they have the highest ratio of incumbents running for re-election.   
+
* '''New Mexico, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois and Kansas''' have the lowest ratio of open seats; that is, they have the highest ratio of incumbents running for re-election.   
* The five states with the highest ratio of open seats are Michigan, Nevada, Arkansas, Arizona and Missouri.  Not surprisingly, all 5 have term limits.  In fact, the top ten most competitive states in 2010 as defined by the ratio of open seats all have term limits.
+
* The five states with the highest ratio of open seats are '''Michigan, Nevada, Arkansas, Arizona and Missouri.''' Not surprisingly, all 5 have term limits.  In fact, the 10 most competitive states in 2010 as defined by the ratio of open seats all have term limits.
* The most competitive states '''without''' terms limits are New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Washington.  These non-term-limited states have quadruple the ratio of seats with no incumbent running as do the five least competitive states.
+
* The most competitive states '''without''' terms limits are '''New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Washington.''' These non-term-limited states have quadruple the ratio of seats with no incumbent running as do the five least competitive states.
  
 
The score that states received based on their ratio of open seats is [[2010 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index|one of 3 factors used in evaluating]] which states have the highest, and which the lowest, [[A "Competitiveness Index" for capturing competitiveness in state legislative elections|overall competitiveness]] in the [[state legislative elections, 2010|2010 state legislative elections]].
 
The score that states received based on their ratio of open seats is [[2010 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index|one of 3 factors used in evaluating]] which states have the highest, and which the lowest, [[A "Competitiveness Index" for capturing competitiveness in state legislative elections|overall competitiveness]] in the [[state legislative elections, 2010|2010 state legislative elections]].
 
+
[[File:2010 Open seats map.png|center|450px]]
 
==States compared by open seats==
 
==States compared by open seats==
  
<div style="float:left; margin-top: 0.0em; margin-bottom:3px; background-color: #transparent; padding: .2em .6em; font-size: 100%; border:1px solid #A3B1BF;">'''Legend:''' {{legend|#FFBF00|[[State legislatures with term limits|States with state legislative term limits]]}}
+
<div style="float:left; margin-top: 0.0em; margin-bottom:3px; background-color: padding: .2em .6em; font-size: 100%; border:1px solid #A3B1BF;">'''Legend:''' {{legend|#FFBF00|[[Impact of term limits on state legislative elections in 2010|States with state legislative term limits]]}}
 
<span style="font-size: larger;font-weight: bold;"></span></div><br><br><br>
 
<span style="font-size: larger;font-weight: bold;"></span></div><br><br><br>
  
The state that is least competitive as defined by the % of its seats where the incumbent is not running for re-election in 2010 is defined as #46, while the state that is most competitive as defined by the % of its seats where the incumbent is not running for re-election is defined as #1; that is, '''1 = "most competitive"''', '''46 = "least competitive"'''.   
+
The state that is least competitive as defined by the percentage of its seats where the incumbent did not run for re-election in 2010 is defined as #46, while the state that is most competitive as defined by the percentage of its seats where the incumbent did not run for re-election is defined as #1; that is, '''1 = "most competitive"''', '''46 = "least competitive"'''.   
  
 
{|class="wikitable sortable" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="5" border="1" style="background:none" style="width:70%;"
 
{|class="wikitable sortable" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="5" border="1" style="background:none" style="width:70%;"
Line 33: Line 33:
 
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Total open  
 
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Total open  
 
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | % open  
 
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | % open  
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Rank
+
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Open seats rank
 +
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Overall competitive rank
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 44: Line 45:
 
| align="center" | 14.3%
 
| align="center" | 14.3%
 
| align="center" | 21
 
| align="center" | 21
 +
| align="center" | 22
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 54: Line 56:
 
| align="center" | 10.0%
 
| align="center" | 10.0%
 
| align="center" | 34
 
| align="center" | 34
 +
| align="center" | 31
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 64: Line 67:
 
| align="center" | 44.4%
 
| align="center" | 44.4%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 4
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 4
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 3
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 74: Line 78:
 
| align="center" | 45.3%
 
| align="center" | 45.3%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 3
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 3
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 33
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 84: Line 89:
 
| align="center" | 38
 
| align="center" | 38
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 7
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 7
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 11
  
 
|-
 
|-
| style="background-color:#FFBF00" | [[Colorado State Legislature|Colorado]]
+
| style="background-color:#FFBF00" | [[Colorado General Assembly|Colorado]]
 
| align="center" | [[Colorado State Senate elections, 2010|19]]  
 
| align="center" | [[Colorado State Senate elections, 2010|19]]  
 
| align="center" | [[Colorado State Senate elections, 2010#List of candidates|6]]
 
| align="center" | [[Colorado State Senate elections, 2010#List of candidates|6]]
Line 94: Line 100:
 
| align="center" | 23.8
 
| align="center" | 23.8
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 12
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 12
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 21
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 104: Line 111:
 
| align="center" | 10.2%
 
| align="center" | 10.2%
 
| align="center" | 33
 
| align="center" | 33
 +
| align="center" | 36
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 114: Line 122:
 
| align="center" | 9.6%
 
| align="center" | 9.6%
 
| align="center" | 35
 
| align="center" | 35
 +
| align="center" | 44
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 124: Line 133:
 
| align="center" | 32.2%
 
| align="center" | 32.2%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 9
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 9
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 17
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 134: Line 144:
 
| align="center" | 16.1%
 
| align="center" | 16.1%
 
| align="center" | 19
 
| align="center" | 19
 +
| align="center" | 28
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 144: Line 155:
 
| align="center" | 10.9%
 
| align="center" | 10.9%
 
| align="center" | 31
 
| align="center" | 31
 +
| align="center" | 6
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 154: Line 166:
 
| align="center" | 8.6%
 
| align="center" | 8.6%
 
| align="center" | 40
 
| align="center" | 40
 +
| align="center" | 30
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 164: Line 177:
 
| align="center" | 7.9%
 
| align="center" | 7.9%
 
| align="center" | 43
 
| align="center" | 43
 +
| align="center" | 39
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 174: Line 188:
 
| align="center" | 8.0%
 
| align="center" | 8.0%
 
| align="center" | 42
 
| align="center" | 42
 +
| align="center" | 37
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 184: Line 199:
 
| align="center" | 13.6%
 
| align="center" | 13.6%
 
| align="center" | 22
 
| align="center" | 22
 +
| align="center" | 29
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 194: Line 210:
 
| align="center" | 8.0%
 
| align="center" | 8.0%
 
| align="center" | 42
 
| align="center" | 42
 +
| align="center" | 34
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 204: Line 221:
 
| align="center" | 5.9%
 
| align="center" | 5.9%
 
| align="center" | 44
 
| align="center" | 44
 +
| align="center" | 43
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 214: Line 232:
 
| align="center" | 23.7%
 
| align="center" | 23.7%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 13
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 13
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 14
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 224: Line 243:
 
| align="center" | 13.3%
 
| align="center" | 13.3%
 
| align="center" | 23
 
| align="center" | 23
 +
| align="center" | 5
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 234: Line 254:
 
| align="center" | 16.0%
 
| align="center" | 16.0%
 
| align="center" | 20
 
| align="center" | 20
 +
| align="center" | 40
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 244: Line 265:
 
| align="center" | 54.1%
 
| align="center" | 54.1%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 1
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 1
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 2
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 254: Line 276:
 
| align="center" | 11.9%
 
| align="center" | 11.9%
 
| align="center" | 27
 
| align="center" | 27
 +
| align="center" | 24
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 264: Line 287:
 
| align="center" | 40.6%
 
| align="center" | 40.6%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 5
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 5
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 20
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 274: Line 298:
 
| align="center" | 39.7%
 
| align="center" | 39.7%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 6
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 6
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00"| 12
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 284: Line 309:
 
| align="center" | 12.5%
 
| align="center" | 12.5%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 24
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 24
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 7
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 294: Line 320:
 
| align="center" | 50.9%
 
| align="center" | 50.9%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 2
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 2
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 4
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 304: Line 331:
 
| align="center" | 24.1%
 
| align="center" | 24.1%
 
| align="center" | 11
 
| align="center" | 11
 +
| align="center" | 1
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 314: Line 342:
 
| align="center" | 4.3%
 
| align="center" | 4.3%
 
| align="center" | 46
 
| align="center" | 46
 +
| align="center" | 42
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 324: Line 353:
 
| align="center" | 11.8%
 
| align="center" | 11.8%
 
| align="center" | 28
 
| align="center" | 28
 +
| align="center" | 13
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 334: Line 364:
 
| align="center" | 10.6%
 
| align="center" | 10.6%
 
| align="center" | 32
 
| align="center" | 32
 +
| align="center" | 19
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 344: Line 375:
 
| align="center" | 22.2%
 
| align="center" | 22.2%
 
| align="center" | 14
 
| align="center" | 14
 +
| align="center" | 25
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 354: Line 386:
 
| align="center" | 26.7%
 
| align="center" | 26.7%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 10
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 10
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 8
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 364: Line 397:
 
| align="center" | 17.6%
 
| align="center" | 17.6%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 18
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 18
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 32
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 374: Line 408:
 
| align="center" | 9.2%
 
| align="center" | 9.2%
 
| align="center" | 37
 
| align="center" | 37
 +
| align="center" | 27
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 384: Line 419:
 
| align="center" | 9.2%
 
| align="center" | 9.2%
 
| align="center" | 37
 
| align="center" | 37
 +
| align="center" | 38
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 394: Line 430:
 
| align="center" | 11.5%
 
| align="center" | 11.5%
 
| align="center" | 29
 
| align="center" | 29
 +
| align="center" | 15
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 404: Line 441:
 
| align="center" | 8.9%
 
| align="center" | 8.9%
 
| align="center" | 38
 
| align="center" | 38
 +
| align="center" | 41
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 414: Line 452:
 
| align="center" | 32.4%
 
| align="center" | 32.4%
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 8
 
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 8
 +
| align="center" style="background-color:#FFBF00" | 18
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 424: Line 463:
 
| align="center" | 8.6%
 
| align="center" | 8.6%
 
| align="center" | 40
 
| align="center" | 40
 +
| align="center" | 45
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 434: Line 474:
 
| align="center" | 4.8%
 
| align="center" | 4.8%
 
| align="center" | 45
 
| align="center" | 45
 +
| align="center" | 46
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 444: Line 485:
 
| align="center" | 11.1%
 
| align="center" | 11.1%
 
| align="center" | 30
 
| align="center" | 30
 +
| align="center" | 10
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 454: Line 496:
 
| align="center" | 12.2%
 
| align="center" | 12.2%
 
| align="center" | 25
 
| align="center" | 25
 +
| align="center" | 35
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 464: Line 507:
 
| align="center" | 17.9%
 
| align="center" | 17.9%
 
| align="center" | 17
 
| align="center" | 17
 +
| align="center" | 26
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 474: Line 518:
 
| align="center" | 12.0%
 
| align="center" | 12.0%
 
| align="center" | 26
 
| align="center" | 26
 +
| align="center" | 9
  
 
|-
 
|-
Line 483: Line 528:
 
| align="center" | 23
 
| align="center" | 23
 
| align="center" | 19.9%
 
| align="center" | 19.9%
 +
| align="center" | 16
 
| align="center" | 16
 
| align="center" | 16
  
Line 494: Line 540:
 
| align="center" | 20.0%
 
| align="center" | 20.0%
 
| align="center" | 15
 
| align="center" | 15
 +
| align="center" | 23
 
|-valign="top"
 
|-valign="top"
| style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | '''Totals:''' || text align="center" | '''1,167''' || align="center" | '''273''' || align="center" | '''4,958''' || align="center" | '''867''' || align="center" | '''1,140''' || align="center" | '''18.6%''' || align="center" | NA
+
|-class="sortbottom"
 +
| style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | '''Totals:''' || text align="center" | '''1,167''' || align="center" | '''273''' || align="center" | '''4,958''' || align="center" | '''867''' || align="center" | '''1,140''' || align="center" | '''18.6%''' || align="center" | NA || align="center" | NA
 
|}
 
|}
  
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:: ''See also: [[Impact of term limits on state legislative elections in 2010]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Impact of term limits on state legislative elections in 2010]]''
  
There are 15 term limited states. Only Louisiana is not holding elections in 2010. Of the 14 term-limited states holding elections, 35.13% of all seats are open. In non-term limited states, that number plummets to 12.90%.  
+
There are 15 term-limited states. Of those, only Louisiana is not holding elections in 2010. Of the 14 term-limited states holding elections, 35.13% of all seats are open. In non-term-limited states, that number plummets to 12.90%.  
  
The discrepancy is largest in the Senate. In term limited states, 48.81% of seats are open. However, that number plummets to only 13.24% for states without term limits. That means 721 of the 831 Senators are running for re-election in states without term limits.
+
The discrepancy is largest in the Senate. In term limited states, 48.81% of seats are open. However, that number plummets to only 13.24% for states without term limits. That means 721 of the 831 Senators ran for re-election in states without term limits.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
Line 516: Line 564:
 
{{state legislatures}}
 
{{state legislatures}}
 
{{ballotpedia}}
 
{{ballotpedia}}
[[Category:Competitiveness analysis of state legislative elections]]
+
[[Category:Competitiveness analysis of state legislative elections, 2010]]
 +
[[Category:Competitiveness analysis of state legislative elections, 2010, report in detail]]

Revision as of 14:08, 20 July 2012

2010 Competitiveness Overview
Competitiveness logo 4.jpg
Primary competition (state comparison)
Incumbents with no primary challenge in 2010
Incumbents with no challenges at all in 2010
Incumbents defeatedVictorious challengers
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   Results Comparisons  Star bookmark.png
Chart Comparing 2011 ResultsComparisons Between Years
Party differences
Competitiveness Index
2010 State Legislative Elections
Competitiveness Studies from Other Years
2007200920112012
By Geoff Pallay and Leslie Graves

There are 6,125 state legislative districts, in 46 states, with a seat up for election on November 2, 2010. We took a look at each of the 46 states to see how many state legislative incumbents chose to run for re-election in 2010.

Our main findings:

  • In 1,140 (18.6%) of the 6,125 seats up for election on November 2, the incumbent did not run for re-election, either because he or she voluntarily chose not to run again, or because of term limits.
  • In 4,985 (81.4%) of the 6,125 seats up for election on November 2, the incumbent ran for re-election.
  • Adjusting for term limits, 86.6% of state legislative incumbents who were legally able to run again in 2010 chose to run again.

Comparing states:

  • New Mexico, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois and Kansas have the lowest ratio of open seats; that is, they have the highest ratio of incumbents running for re-election.
  • The five states with the highest ratio of open seats are Michigan, Nevada, Arkansas, Arizona and Missouri. Not surprisingly, all 5 have term limits. In fact, the 10 most competitive states in 2010 as defined by the ratio of open seats all have term limits.
  • The most competitive states without terms limits are New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Washington. These non-term-limited states have quadruple the ratio of seats with no incumbent running as do the five least competitive states.

The score that states received based on their ratio of open seats is one of 3 factors used in evaluating which states have the highest, and which the lowest, overall competitiveness in the 2010 state legislative elections.

2010 Open seats map.png

States compared by open seats

Legend:      States with state legislative term limits



The state that is least competitive as defined by the percentage of its seats where the incumbent did not run for re-election in 2010 is defined as #46, while the state that is most competitive as defined by the percentage of its seats where the incumbent did not run for re-election is defined as #1; that is, 1 = "most competitive", 46 = "least competitive".

State Senate at stake Open senate House at stake Open house Total open  % open Open seats rank Overall competitive rank
Alabama 35 7 105 13 20 14.3% 21 22
Alaska 10 1 40 4 5 10.0% 34 31
Arizona 30 15 60 25 40 44.4% 4 3
Arkansas 17 13 100 40 53 45.3% 3 33
California 20 10 80 28 38 38 7 11
Colorado 19 6 65 14 20 23.8 12 21
Connecticut 36 4 151 15 19 10.2% 33 36
Delaware 11 0 41 5 5 9.6% 35 44
Florida 23 13 120 33 46 32.2% 9 17
Georgia 56 11 180 27 38 16.1% 19 28
Hawaii 13 2 51 5 7 10.9% 31 6
Idaho 35 1 70 8 9 8.6% 40 30
Illinois 21 1 118 10 11 7.9% 43 39
Indiana 25 3 100 7 10 8.0% 42 37
Iowa 25 3 100 14 17 13.6% 22 29
Kansas NA NA 125 10 10 8.0% 42 34
Kentucky 19 2 100 5 7 5.9% 44 43
Maine 35 10 151 34 44 23.7% 13 14
Maryland 47 3 141 22 25 13.3% 23 5
Massachusetts 40 8 160 24 32 16.0% 20 40
Michigan 38 29 110 51 80 54.1% 1 2
Minnesota 67 9 134 15 24 11.9% 27 24
Missouri 17 10 163 63 73 40.6% 5 20
Montana 26 17 100 33 50 39.7% 6 12
Nebraska 24 3 NA NA 3 12.5% 24 7
Nevada 11 8 42 19 27 50.9% 2 4
New Hampshire 24 4 400 98 102 24.1% 11 1
New Mexico NA NA 70 3 3 4.3% 46 42
New York 62 6 150 19 25 11.8% 28 13
North Carolina 50 8 120 10 18 10.6% 32 19
North Dakota 24 4 48 12 16 22.2% 14 25
Ohio 17 9 99 22 31 26.7% 10 8
Oklahoma 24 8 101 14 22 17.6% 18 32
Oregon 16 2 60 5 7 9.2% 37 27
Pennsylvania 25 3 203 18 21 9.2% 37 38
Rhode Island 38 3 75 10 13 11.5% 29 15
South Carolina NA NA 124 11 11 8.9% 38 41
South Dakota 35 13 70 21 34 32.4% 8 18
Tennessee 17 2 99 8 10 8.6% 40 45
Texas 16 1 150 7 8 4.8% 45 46
Utah 15 1 75 9 10 11.1% 30 10
Vermont 30 5 150 17 22 12.2% 25 35
Washington 25 5 98 17 22 17.9% 17 26
West Virginia 17 3 l00 11 14 12.0% 26 9
Wisconsin 17 3 99 20 23 19.9% 16 16
Wyoming 15 4 60 11 15 20.0% 15 23
Totals: 1,167 273 4,958 867 1,140 18.6% NA NA

Impact of term limits

See also: Impact of term limits on state legislative elections in 2010

There are 15 term-limited states. Of those, only Louisiana is not holding elections in 2010. Of the 14 term-limited states holding elections, 35.13% of all seats are open. In non-term-limited states, that number plummets to 12.90%.

The discrepancy is largest in the Senate. In term limited states, 48.81% of seats are open. However, that number plummets to only 13.24% for states without term limits. That means 721 of the 831 Senators ran for re-election in states without term limits.

See also