Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
April 24, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Keith Rothfus Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Mark Critz Democratic Party
Mark Critz.jpg

Pennsylvania U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Pennsylvania.png
The 12th congressional district of Pennsylvania held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Republican challenger Keith Rothfus defeated incumbent Mark Critz.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
February 14, 2012
April 24, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Pennsylvania has a closed primary system, meaning only registered members of a particular party may vote in that party's primary.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by March 25. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 7.[2]

See also: Pennsylvania elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Mark Critz, (D), who assumed office in he won in a special election in 2010.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district is located in the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania and includes Cambria, Somerset, Westmoreland, Allegheny, and Beaver counties.[3]

This is the 12th congressional district prior to the 2010 redistricting.

Candidates

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 Mark Critz
Republican Party Keith Rothfus Green check mark transparent.png


April 24, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election Results

General Election

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 12 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Mark Critz Incumbent 48.3% 163,589
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKeith Rothfus 51.7% 175,352
Total Votes 338,941
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Democratic Primary

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 12 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMark Critz Incumbent 51.2% 32,384
Jason Altmire Incumbent 48.8% 30,895
Total Votes 63,279


Race background

Pennsylvania's 12th was considered to be a Tossup according to the New York Times race ratings. Democratic incumbent Mark Critz was challenged by Keith Rothfus (R) who narrowly lost in 2010. Critz had already defeated fellow Democratic incumbent Jason Altmire in a primary upset. [5]

Republican challenger Keith Rothfus was included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlighted challengers who represented the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[6]

The Washington Post listed the House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania in 2012 as one of the states that could determine whether Democrats would retake the House or Republicans would hold their majority in 2013.[7] Ohio tied with Pennsylvania for 9th on the list.[7]

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 Kentucky's 6th. The report examines 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." [8]

Endorsements

Key endorsements in the race include former President Bill Clinton, who headlined a rally for Critz in Beaver County, and the National Rifle Association, which announced its support for the conservative Democrat on October 7th.[10][11] In Rothfus' corner are the Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund and the Firearm Owners Against Crime, "Western Pennsylvania’s leading Second Amendment organization,” according to his campaign manager, in addition to the YG Action Fund. The latter has spent over $500,000 on ads disparaging Critz.[12]

Impact of Redistricting

See also Redistricting in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania lost one seat in the House of Representatives due to slow population growth. As a result, the redistricting committee dissolved the 12th congressional district represented by Mark Critz, and attached it to much of what was Jason Altmire's 4th district, forcing the two incumbents into a primary challenge. Portions of Altmire's district were also pushed into the Pittsburgh-based district represented by Mike Doyle.[13]

Politico rated the 12th district race between Mark Critz and Jason Altmire one of the 5 ugliest member vs. member battles.[14]

The 12th district was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[15][16]

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. Pennsylvania's 12th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[17]

  • 2012: 42D / 58R
  • 2010: 46D / 54R

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. Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district has a PVI of R+6, which is the 168th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 55-45 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 54-46 percent over John Kerry (D).[18]

Polls

2012 General Election

Mark Critz vs. Keith Rothfus
Poll Mark Critz (D) Keith Rothfus (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
PoliticsPA
(June 13-15, 2012)
46%36%18%+/-4.9402
Benson Strategy Group Poll
(July 9-11, 2012)
44%38%18%+/-4.9400
McLaughlin & Associates Poll
(September 19-20, 2012)
38%38%24%+/-4.9400
Democratic Poll
(September 23-25, 2012)
52%41%7%+/-4.9400
AVERAGES 45% 38.25% 16.75% +/-4.9 400.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

2012 Democratic Primary Polls

Jason Altmire vs. Mark Critz
Poll Jason Altmire (D) Mark Critz (D)Margin of ErrorSample Size
[1]
(April 13-15, 2012)
43%39%+/-4.9400
[2]
(March 22-25, 2012)
45%38%+/-4.9400
[3]
(March 12-14, 2012)
55%31%+/-4.9400
[4]
(February 2-5, 2012)
47%37%+/-4.9400
[5]
(January 10-15, 2012)
50%43%+/-4.4503
AVERAGES 48% 37.6% +/-4.8 420.6
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Media

The following is a selection of audio and video for some of the District 12 candidates. Some were released by candidates, others by PACs or local media.

Mark Critz


Mark Critz, "Next Generation"[19]













Mark Critz, "House floor debate"[20]













Critz promises to create jobs for Western PA in "Fight for Them"

Keith Rothfus


Keith Rothfus chats with NRO[21]



Rothfus addresses accusations that he supports outsourcing to China in "Fortune"

Negative ads


This pro-Rothfus ad from the YG Network titled "Pennsylvania Values" warns "a vote for Critz is a vote for Obama" [22]













NRCC goes back on the offensive after debunking China ad[23]













Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee criticizes Rothfus in "Shanghai" ad[24]













Tom Smith, "Different"












PA SIEU said "Rothfus is not on your side"

Campaign contributions

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

Mark Critz

Mark Critz (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[25]March 31, 2012$8,890.37$187,977.82$(45,008.03)$151,860.16
July Quarterly[26]July 15, 2012$232,183.89$605,504.43$(409,413.51)$428,274.81
October Quarterly[27]October 15, 2012$428,274.81$508,384.20$(572,360.76)$364,298.25
Pre-General[28]October 25, 2012$364,298.25$107,702.08$(228,760.44)$240,139.89
Running totals
$1,409,568.53$(1,255,542.74)

Keith Rothfus

Keith Rothfus (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-Primary[29]April 12, 2012$196,086.20$246,096.56$(57,691.23)$384,491.53
July Quarterly[30]June 30, 2012$384,491.53$391,211.36$(130,767.23)$644,935.66
October Quarterly[31]October 15, 2012$644,935.66$545,337.07$(1,017,412.65)$170,560.08
Pre-General[32]October 25, 2012$170,560.08$167,816.22$(192,301.01)$146,075.29
Running totals
$1,350,461.21$(1,398,172.12)

According to opensecrets.org September 30th report, Mark Critz raised $2,224,442 so far this cycle. Of that, Critz spent $1,869,034, leaving him with $364,298 cash on hand. Meanwhile, Keith Rothfus raised $1,422,091 and spent $1,275,905, leaving him with $173,095 cash on hand. [33] The website also evaluated the quality of the candidates' disclosures based on how often "the full name and occupation/employer" of a donor is included in the report. Critz was given a full disclosure rating of 84.6%, while Rothfus disclosed 85.9%.[33]

Outside Spending

As of April 14, the Service Employees International Union and the United Steelworkers have both spent money in the 12th district race. The SEIU has spent $5,547 while the United Steelworkers union has spent $1,738.[34]

Top Contributors

Altmire's top three contributors during the first cycle were EQT Corp, which donated $26,139; Ibis Tek, which donated $25,000 and Mepco LLC, which donated $17,000. Critz's top contributors are American Crystal Sugar, which gave $15,000; Rosebud Mining, which contributed $15,000; and Concurrent Technologies, which gave $12,500. Some of Rothfus' top contributors include Heinz & Co, which gave $6,000; HJ Heinz Co, which donated $5,500; and Concast, which gave $5,000.[35]

District History

2010

On November 2, 2010, Critz won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Tim Burns in the general election.[36]

U.S. House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Congressional District 12 Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Critz Incumbent 50.8% 94,056
     Republican Tim Burns 49.2% 91,170
Total Votes 185,226

2010 Special Election

On May 18, 2010, Critz won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Tim Burns and Demo Agoris in the general election.[37]

U.S. House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Congressional District 12 Special Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Critz Incumbent 52.6% 70,915
     Republican Tim Burns 45.1% 60,740
     Libertarian Demo Agoris 2.3% 3,158
Total Votes 134,813

2008

On November 4, 2008, John P. Murtha won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated William Russell in the general election.[38]

U.S. House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Congressional District 12 Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Murtha Incumbent 57.9% 155,268
     Republican William Russell 42.1% 113,120
Total Votes 268,388

2006

On November 7, 2006, John P. Murtha won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated William Russell in the general election.[39]

2004

On November 2, 2004, John P. Murtha won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He ran unopposed in the general election.[40]

2002

On November 5, 2002, John P. Murtha won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Bill Choby in the general election.[41]

2000

On November 7, 2000, John P. Murtha won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Bill Choby in the general election.[42]

See also

External links

References

  1. Politico "2012 House Race Results"
  2. Pennsylvania Department of State "Registration Deadlines," Accessed June 28, 2012
  3. Pennsylvania Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed July 30, 2012
  4. Pittsburgh Tribune Edgeworth lawyer Rothfus planning another run at Congress December 12, 2011
  5. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  6. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Washington Post "The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012" Accessed April 25, 2012
  8. Brennan Center for Justice, "Election Spending 2012: 25 Toss-Up House Races," October 22, 2012
  9. The Cook Political Report, "House: Race Ratings", updated October 18, 2012
  10. PoliticsPA, "NRA Backs Critz," October 8, 2012
  11. PoliticsPA "Breaking: Clinton Backs Critz" Accessed April 12, 2012
  12. PoliticsPA, "GOP groups lines up 500K ad against Critz," September 21, 2012
  13. Politico "Pa. redistricting will pit Altmire vs. Critz" Accessed April 14, 2012
  14. Politico "Congress 2012: The 5 ugliest member vs. member battles" Accessed April 18, 2012
  15. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer "Pennsylvania's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  16. Labels & Lists "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  17. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Pennsylvania," September 2012
  18. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  19. YouTube channel
  20. YouTube channel
  21. Keith Rothfus chats with NRO
  22. "Pennsylvania Values," October 22, 2012
  23. Shanghai
  24. Shanghai
  25. Federal Election Commission "Mark Critz April Quarterly," Accessed July 26, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission "Mark Critz July Quarterly," Accessed July 26, 2012
  27. Federal Election Commission, "Mark Critz October Quarterly," October 15, 2012
  28. Federal Election Commission, "Mark Critz Pre-General," October 25, 2012
  29. Federal Election Commission, "Keith Rothfus Pre-Primary," April 12, 2012
  30. Federal Election Commission "Keith Rothfus July Quarterly," Accessed July 27, 2012
  31. Federal Election Commission, "Keith Rothfus October Quarterly Report," October 15, 2012
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Keith Rothfus Pre-General," October 25, 2012
  33. 33.0 33.1 Open Secrets.org, "2012 Race: Pennsylvania Congressional District 12," September 30, 2012
  34. opensecrets.org "Outside Spending" Accessed April 14, 2012
  35. opensecrets.org "Top Contributors" Accessed April 14, 2012
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  37. North Carolina Secretary of State "Official Returns" Accessed March 22, 2012
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006"
  40. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004"
  41. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002"
  42. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000"