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State Legislative Tracker: An update to Ballotpedia's 2012 election projections

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September 3, 2012


By Greg Janetka

Note:This week's tracker is taking a break for Labor Day. Instead, here's an update about Ballotpedia's 2012 election projections.

MADISON, Wisconsin: With just two months to go before the general election on November 6, races across the country have kicked up a level as unfolding events and continued polling give candidates a clearer picture of where they stand. This year elections will be held for 86 state legislative chambers as well as 37 statewide top-ballot positions. Will voters opt for the status quo or decide they're ready for a change?

Today Ballotpedia released an updated report on projected outcomes of the 123 State Executive, State Senate and State House elections. This set of projections, the second of four, seeks to indicate which races to watch, and which parties might have more to lose or gain from the election.

Combined projections

Ballotpedia 2012 Election Projections
What changed in August?
State Executive Positions
State Senate Chambers
State House Chambers

Combined projections provide an overview of all the elections by adding up top-ballot state executive positions + the number of chambers held by each party. Top-ballot refers to governors, lieutenant governors, attorneys general and secretaries of state. While there are 37 top-ballot state executive positions up for election and 86 state legislative chambers with 2012 elections, the Nebraska Legislature is officially nonpartisan, thus bringing a total of 122 projected outcomes.

Going into the elections, Democrats hold 55 of these positions, while Republicans hold 65. (Note: The figures are missing two state legislative chambers as there are currently ties in the Alaska Senate and Oregon House).

According to Ballotpedia's latest projections:

  • 24 are Toss-up
  • 15 Lean or Likely Democrat
  • 28 Lean or Likely Republican
  • 23 Safe Democrat
  • 32 Safe Republican

State executives

Going into the elections, Democrats hold 23 top-ballot state executive positions up for election, while Republicans hold 14.

According to Ballotpedia's latest projections:

  • 13 are Toss-up
  • 7 Lean or Likely Democrat
  • 7 Lean or Likely Republican
  • 6 Safe Democrat
  • 4 Safe Republican
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State legislatures

Going into the elections, Democrats hold 36 state legislative chambers up for election, while Republicans hold 59.

According to Ballotpedia's latest projections:

  • 11 are Toss-up
  • 8 Lean or Likely Democrat
  • 21 Lean or Likely Republican
  • 17 Safe Democrat
  • 28 Safe Republican

Full projections

See Ballotpedia:Statewide projections for the November 6, 2012 elections for full projections. In addition to more detailed information on the races above, the projections include an analysis of Trifectas (when one political party holds the governorship and both chambers in a state) as well as an aggregation of various projections about Congressional races made by other organizations.

Ballotpedia's next set of projections will be released October 1, with a final report on November 1. The first set of projections was released August 1.


Expected outcome is displayed in 1 of 7 classifications. The 7 classifications include:

  • Safe Democrat
  • Likely Democrat
  • Lean Democrat
  • Toss-up
  • Lean Republican
  • Likely Republican
  • Safe Republican

See also

Ballotpedia's 2012 election coverage plans