Difference between revisions of "State legislative elections, 2011"

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*[[Redistricting in Louisiana|Louisiana]]: [[Governor of Louisiana|Governor]] [[Bobby Jindal]] (R) officially singed the new maps on April 14, 2011. In a special session preceding the regular assembly, Louisiana's lawmakers hashed out redistricting at the state and federal level, but the painful contraction of the Congressional delegation and the competing priorities of groups at odds with one another left many with a bad taste.  The maps were submitted to the U.S. Justice Department in keeping with the state's obligations under the Voting Rights Act.  At the same time, the NAACP, the Legislative Black Caucus, and affiliated groups were waging a campaign to see the maps disapproved and considering legal action if that did not happen.
 
*[[Redistricting in Louisiana|Louisiana]]: [[Governor of Louisiana|Governor]] [[Bobby Jindal]] (R) officially singed the new maps on April 14, 2011. In a special session preceding the regular assembly, Louisiana's lawmakers hashed out redistricting at the state and federal level, but the painful contraction of the Congressional delegation and the competing priorities of groups at odds with one another left many with a bad taste.  The maps were submitted to the U.S. Justice Department in keeping with the state's obligations under the Voting Rights Act.  At the same time, the NAACP, the Legislative Black Caucus, and affiliated groups were waging a campaign to see the maps disapproved and considering legal action if that did not happen.
  
*[[Redistricting in Mississippi|Mississippi]]: In 2011, the [[Mississippi State Legislature|state legislature]] was divided with Democrats controlling the [[Mississippi House of Representatives|House]] and Republicans holding a slim margin in the [[Mississippi State Senate|Senate]]. Due to political conflicts, the legislature was unable to redraw legislative boundaries in time for the 2011 election. Thus, Mississippi's legislative 2011 elections will take place under the state's current maps as drawn after the 2000 census. In March, the NAACP filed an injunction to block elections under the old maps, arguing that maps do not reflect current population figures. However, a ruling in May ordered the elections to proceed under the old maps. [[Redistricting in Mississippi|Redistricting]] was revisited after the 2011 election.<ref>[http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110518/OPINION01/105180316/Redistricting-Status-quo-inequity?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Home|s ''Clarion Ledger'', "Redistricting: Status quo of inequity", May 17, 2011]</ref>   
+
*[[Redistricting in Mississippi|Mississippi]]: In 2011, the [[Mississippi State Legislature|state legislature]] was divided with Democrats controlling the [[Mississippi House of Representatives|House]] and Republicans holding a slim margin in the [[Mississippi State Senate|Senate]]. Due to political conflicts, the legislature was unable to redraw legislative boundaries in time for the 2011 election. Thus, Mississippi's legislative 2011 elections will take place under the state's current maps as drawn after the 2000 census. In March, the NAACP filed an injunction to block elections under the old maps, arguing that maps do not reflect current population figures. However, a ruling in May ordered the elections to proceed under the old maps. [[Redistricting in Mississippi|Redistricting]] was revisited after the 2011 election.<ref>[http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110518/OPINION01/105180316/Redistricting-Status-quo-inequity?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Home|s ''Clarion Ledger'', "Redistricting: Status quo of inequity," May 17, 2011]</ref>   
  
 
*[[Redistricting in New Jersey|New Jersey]]: The Garden State uses a bipartisan redistricting commission of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans to handle creating new state legislative maps. However, should the commission stalemate, the [[Judgepedia:New Jersey Supreme Court|New Jersey Supreme Court]] appoints an 11th member to serve as tiebreaker. As would be expected, a tiebreaker was needed and Alan Rosenthal was appointed to try to negotiate a compromise map. However, when the April 3, 2011 deadline arrived, no bipartisan map was agreed upon and Rosenthal sided with the Democratic proposal.<ref>[http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/04/02/democrats-near-victory-in-new-jersey-redistricting/?mod=google_news_blog ''Wall Street Journal'' Democrats Near Victory in New Jersey Redistricting," April 2, 2011]</ref> Democrats largely claimed victory, particularly after the [[Governor of New Jersey|Governor]] -- [[Chris Christie]] (R), who has no procedural impact on the maps -- weighed in several times in the final weeks.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/nyregion/04redistrict.html?_r=1 ''New York Times'' "New Districts Seen as Aiding Democrats in New Jersey," April 3, 2011]</ref>
 
*[[Redistricting in New Jersey|New Jersey]]: The Garden State uses a bipartisan redistricting commission of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans to handle creating new state legislative maps. However, should the commission stalemate, the [[Judgepedia:New Jersey Supreme Court|New Jersey Supreme Court]] appoints an 11th member to serve as tiebreaker. As would be expected, a tiebreaker was needed and Alan Rosenthal was appointed to try to negotiate a compromise map. However, when the April 3, 2011 deadline arrived, no bipartisan map was agreed upon and Rosenthal sided with the Democratic proposal.<ref>[http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/04/02/democrats-near-victory-in-new-jersey-redistricting/?mod=google_news_blog ''Wall Street Journal'' Democrats Near Victory in New Jersey Redistricting," April 2, 2011]</ref> Democrats largely claimed victory, particularly after the [[Governor of New Jersey|Governor]] -- [[Chris Christie]] (R), who has no procedural impact on the maps -- weighed in several times in the final weeks.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/nyregion/04redistrict.html?_r=1 ''New York Times'' "New Districts Seen as Aiding Democrats in New Jersey," April 3, 2011]</ref>

Revision as of 08:19, 21 March 2014

2012
2010
SLP elec2011 badge.jpg
2011 State Legislative Elections

Election Results
Results analysisIncumbents who lostOpen seats winnersNew winners

Redistricting and the 2011 electionsPartisan balanceList of candidatesVoter turnoutCompetitiveness analysisImpact of Term Limits

States
Louisiana (S), (H)Mississippi (S), (H)
New Jersey (S), (GA)Virginia (S), (H)

Other 2011 Election coverage
Primary electionsStatewide elections, 2011State legislative special elections, 2011State Senate electionsState House electionsGubernatorial elections, 20112011 ballot measures
See also: State legislative elections results, 2011

In 2010, elections were record-setting as Republicans picked up more than 700 seats with sweeping victories throughout the country. There were 6,125 seats contested in 2010. In 2011, 578 state legislative seats were up for regularly scheduled elections (Louisiana will still hold elections for 25 undecided races on November 19, 2011). This is in addition to at least 90 special elections to fill vacancies that have taken place in 2011.

In the 50 states, there are 99 state legislative chambers altogether, and 8 of the 99 chambers held state legislative elections in November 2011.

Those eight chambers that held elections are the state senates and houses in the following states:

171 of the country's 1,971 state senate seats were up for re-election in November 2011, and 407 of the country's 5,413 state house seats were up for re-election. Altogether, 578 of the country's 7,384 state legislative seats were up for re-election in this off-election year.

Because Louisiana follows a unique elections schedule, three states held elections on the main 2011 date of November 8. A total of 434 seats were up for election in Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia that night.

As of Thursday, October 23, 2014, there has been a 51-seat swing between Democratic and Republican held seats. Before the election, Democrats held 287 of the 578 seats while Republicans controlled 285 seats. As of Thursday, October 23, 2014, Republicans now have 299 state legislative seats and Democrats have 250 seats in the 4 states that held elections in 2011.

Partisan control

Pre-election

Heading into the 2011 elections, each political party controls 4 chambers with November elections.

Partisan Balance of Chambers with 2011 Elections
Pre-election Post-election
Legislative chamber Democratic Party Republican Party Purple.png Democratic Party Republican Party Purple.png
State senates 2 2 0 1 2 1
State houses 2 2 0 1 3 0
Totals: 4 4 0 2 5 1
Partisan Balance of All 99 Chambers Before and After 2011 Elections
Pre-election Post-election
Legislative chamber Democratic Party Republican Party Purple.png Independent Democratic Party Republican Party Purple.png Independent
State senates 19 29 1 1 18 29 2 1
State houses 18 30 1 0 17 31 1 0
Totals: 37 59 2 1 35 60 3 1

Of the 578 seats that were up for election, there are:

  • 287 Democratic legislators
  • 285 Republican legislators
  • 4 Independent legislators

Thus, 49.7% of the seats were held by Democrats and, 49.3% by Republicans.

Overall, in the 50 states, Democrats controlled 37 chambers while Republicans were the majority in 59 chambers before the election. There were two chambers tied (Alaska State Senate and Oregon House of Representatives and one chamber that is nonpartisan (Nebraska State Senate).

Post-election

As of Thursday, October 23, 2014, Republicans now control 54.3% of the seats while Democrats now control 45.4%.

Democrats now control 35 total chambers while Republicans are the majority in 60 chambers. There are three tied chambers with the addition of the Virginia State Senate.

Partisan breakdown of state legislators in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia
Before November 2011 election After November 2011 election
Party Senators Representatives Total state legislators Senators Representatives Total state legislators Gain/loss legislators
Democratic
87 200 287 77 181 258 -23
Republican
83 202 285 92 222 314 +26
Independent or nonpartisan
0 4 4 0 3 3 -1
Vacancies
1 1 2 0 0 0 -2


All 50 states

Partisan breakdown of state legislators in all 50 states
Before November 2011 election After November 2011 election
Party Senators Representatives Total state legislators Senators Representatives Total state legislators Gain/loss legislators
Democratic
879 2,454 3,333 875 2,439 3,310 -23
Republican
1,028 2,912 3,940 1,032 2,926 3,966 +26
Independent or nonpartisan
53 12 65 53 11 64 -1
Third-party and non-voting
2 9 11 2 9 11 0


Voter turnout

In non-typical election years, voter turnout is lower than the usual presidential or mid-term elections. In October 2011, polls in the states holding elections in 2011 revealed a similar patter emerging this year.[1]

  • In Louisiana, voter turnout in the October 22 primary is expected to be about 40 percent. Early voting turnout was higher than expected, which raised expectations from 30 percent to 40 percent.[2]
  • In New Jersey, a Monmouth University/NJ Press Media Poll found that only about 50 percent of voters are aware that all 120 legislative seats are up for election in 2011. Meanwhile, the same poll found that 33 percent of voters approved of the legislature while 45 percent disapproved -- 22 percent had no opinion. According to Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, the voters' unhappiness is unlikely to make a difference at the polls because most incumbents do not have competitive races.[3]
  • According to a Christopher Newport University/Richmond Times-Dispatch poll on October 17, 2011, more than 70 percent of voters said they are paying little to no attention to the elections -- despite all 140 legislative seats being up for election. In Virginia, there are 79 seats with only one major party candidate running.[4]
  • On the other hand, some speculation in Mississippi is that voter turnout could be unusually high, in part because of a combination of contentious ballot measures and both gubernatorial and legislative elections. Roy Nicholson, Mississippi Tea Party Chairman, said he expects to see "tremendous voter turnout" -- in part because both the Senate and House are close races for party control.[5]

Competitiveness analysis

2011 Competitiveness Overview
3Competitive 2011.jpg
Primary competition (state comparison)
Incumbents with no challenges at all in 2011
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 2011 Results   Star bookmark.png
Chart Comparing 2011 ResultsComparisons Between Years
Competitiveness IndexAbsolute Index
2011 State Legislative Elections
Competitiveness Studies from Other Years
200720092010201220132014
See also: 2011 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index

An overview of the degree of competitiveness of the 2011 state legislative elections was conducted that examined three competitiveness factors:

Green check mark transparent.png 95 incumbents faced a primary challenger in 2011.
Green check mark transparent.png 378 incumbents (79.9%) running for re-election in 2011 had no primary challenger.
Green check mark transparent.png Since 473 incumbents ran for re-election in 2011, that means that only 20.1% of incumbents faced a primary challenger.
Green check mark transparent.png Less than 1% of all legislators are represented by third parties. Thus, major parties are virtually guaranteed of winning election.
Green check mark transparent.png 246 major party candidates (42.6%) have no major party challenger in 2011.
Green check mark transparent.png In 473 (81.8%) of the 578 seats up for election, the incumbent ran for re-election.
Green check mark transparent.png In 105 (18.2%) of the 578 seats up for election, the incumbent did not run for re-election.
Green check mark transparent.png 16 incumbents, in Louisiana, did not run because they were not allowed to, due to state legislative term limits in their state.
Green check mark transparent.png Alternatively, of the 578 legislative seats up for election in 2011, 562 incumbents could, legally, have run again.
Green check mark transparent.png Of those 562 seats, 92 incumbents, or 16.4%, who could have run again in 2011 chose not to.
Green check mark transparent.png After adjusting for term limited state legislators, 83.6% of the incumbents who were legally able to run again in 2011 chose to run again.

According to our electoral competitiveness metric, the competitiveness ranking (from most to least) of the four states holding elections this year is as follows:

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Michigan
  3. Arizona
  4. Nevada

We arrived at these overall rankings by adding up the individual ranks from open seats, primary opposition, and major party general election challenge and then dividing by three.

Impact of Term Limits

Main article: Impact of term limits on state legislative elections in 2011

Louisiana is the only state with term limits that is holding an election in 2011.

There are six state senators termed-out in 2011, making up 15.4% of the 39 state senate seats up for election in 2011.

There are nine state representatives termed-out in 2011, making up 8.6% of the 105 state representative seats up for election in 2011.

These 15 state legislators termed-out in 2011 thus make up 10.4% of the total legislative seats up for election in Louisiana.

State Senators

In 2011, Democrats lost more seats in the state senate to term limits than Republicans

Here are the Louisiana Senators that are not eligible to run for election.

Democrats (5)
Republicans (1):

State Representatives

In 2011, Democrats lost more seats in the state house to term limits than Republicans or Independents.

These are the Louisiana representatives who are ineligible to run for re-election:

Democrats (4)
Republicans (3):

Impact of Redistricting

Partisan dominance in state legislatures
heading into the 2011 state legislative elections
New Jersey State LegislatureLouisiana State LegislatureMississippi State LegislatureVirginia State Legislature2011 Partisan Legislatures.png
See also: State Legislative and Congressional Redistricting after the 2010 Census

The 2011 elections are the first general elections after redistricting, when each state's legislative redistricts are redrawn to account for updated population figures taken during the census.

Each state tackles redistricting in its own way -- some using commissions while still others simply vesting authority in the hands of the state legislators themselves. The process is historically contentious, with incumbents biding for a chance to protect their district -- typically referred to as gerrymandering.

The four states with elections in 2011 faced a stricter time restraint because they were required to have maps implemented in time for elections in 2011 -- whereas the 46 other states have until the 2012 elections to complete the job (unless an earlier deadline is mandated).

  • Louisiana: Governor Bobby Jindal (R) officially singed the new maps on April 14, 2011. In a special session preceding the regular assembly, Louisiana's lawmakers hashed out redistricting at the state and federal level, but the painful contraction of the Congressional delegation and the competing priorities of groups at odds with one another left many with a bad taste. The maps were submitted to the U.S. Justice Department in keeping with the state's obligations under the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, the NAACP, the Legislative Black Caucus, and affiliated groups were waging a campaign to see the maps disapproved and considering legal action if that did not happen.
  • Mississippi: In 2011, the state legislature was divided with Democrats controlling the House and Republicans holding a slim margin in the Senate. Due to political conflicts, the legislature was unable to redraw legislative boundaries in time for the 2011 election. Thus, Mississippi's legislative 2011 elections will take place under the state's current maps as drawn after the 2000 census. In March, the NAACP filed an injunction to block elections under the old maps, arguing that maps do not reflect current population figures. However, a ruling in May ordered the elections to proceed under the old maps. Redistricting was revisited after the 2011 election.[6]
  • New Jersey: The Garden State uses a bipartisan redistricting commission of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans to handle creating new state legislative maps. However, should the commission stalemate, the New Jersey Supreme Court appoints an 11th member to serve as tiebreaker. As would be expected, a tiebreaker was needed and Alan Rosenthal was appointed to try to negotiate a compromise map. However, when the April 3, 2011 deadline arrived, no bipartisan map was agreed upon and Rosenthal sided with the Democratic proposal.[7] Democrats largely claimed victory, particularly after the Governor -- Chris Christie (R), who has no procedural impact on the maps -- weighed in several times in the final weeks.[8]

Impact on Parties

Party Impact in 2011

Prior to the 2011 elections, Republicans held the majority of seats in both chambers of the Louisiana State Legislature. During the elections, Democrats suffered more heavily from term limits than Republicans.

Chamber with limits Majority party Seats in chamber Up for election in 2011 Seats impacted by term limits Party with most losses
Louisiana: (Senate), (2011 elections) Republican Party 39 39 5 Democratic Party + 1 Republican Party = 6 Democratic Party
Louisiana: (House), (2011 elections) Republican Party 105 105 4 Democratic Party + 3 Republican Party = 7 Democratic Party
Totals: (2) Republican Party 144 144 9 Democratic Party + 4 Republican Party = 13 2 Democratic Party

Impact on Party Control of Seats in 2010

After the 2010 election results were in, it was possible to see the effect that term limits had on party control of termed-out seats. While incumbents generally have an advantage in elections, elections for termed-out seats lack an incumbent running for re-election. In some cases, this preceded a change in party control of the termed-out seat.

Term-limited seats that changed party control in the 2010 elections
State Senators Termed Out 2010 Representatives Termed Out 2010 Democratic Seats lost to other Parties - Senate Republican Seats lost to other Parties - Senate Democratic Seats lost to other Parties - House Republican Seats lost to other Parties - House Percent of Termed-Out Senate Seats that Changed Party Percent of Termed-Out House Seats that Changed Party Total Legislative Seats that Changed Party
Arizona 10 13 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0
Arkansas 13 34 Republican Party 7 0 Republican Party 11 Democratic Party 1 53.8% 35.3% 19
California 8 18 0 0 Independent 1 Democratic Party 1 0% 11.1% 2
Colorado 3 8 0 0 Republican Party 1 0 0% 12.5% 1
Florida 7 23 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0
Maine 4 20 Republican Party 1 0 Republican Party 5, Independent 1 Democratic Party 2 25% 40% 9
Michigan 29 37 Republican Party 3 0 Republican Party 6 Democratic Party 1 10.3% 18.9% 10
Missouri 10 52 Republican Party 1 0 Republican Party 6 0 10% 11.5% 7
Montana 15 15 Republican Party 2 0 Republican Party 4 0 13.3% 26.7% 6
Nebraska 1 N/A[12] 0 0 - - 0% - 0
Nevada 4 10 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0
Ohio 7 13 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0
Oklahoma 6 4 Republican Party 4 0 0 0 66.7% 0% 4
South Dakota 4 8 Republican Party 1 0 Republican Party 1 Democratic Party 1 25% 25% 3
Total: 121 255 Republican Party 19 0 Republican Party 34, Independent 2 Democratic Party 6 15.7% 16.5% 61
Legend:
Democratic Party = Seat picked up by DemocratRepublican Party = Seat picked up by RepublicanIndependent = Seat picked up by Third Party




Louisiana

Elections were held in all 39 of Louisiana's senate districts on November 19, 2011.[13]

Louisiana's primary was held on October 22, 2011. If necessary, a general election runoff is scheduled for November 19, which is 11 days after the general election date for the majority of other states.

The Pelican State is a unique situation with respect to elections. Louisiana utilizes a "jungle primary" system in which a candidate can win election during the primary, if he/she receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Additionally, candidates of the same party can both advance to the general election, as the top-2 vote getters regardless of party advance if a runoff is needed.

Heading into the 2011 election, the partisan breakdown in Louisiana's two chambers is:


Louisiana State Senate
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 17 15
     Republican Party 22 24
Total 39 39
Louisiana House of Representatives
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 46 45
     Republican Party 57 58
     Independent 2 2
Total 105 105

Campaign donors

2007 was the last year that the state senate and state house held elections. In that year, the state senate had 90 candidates and raised a total of $18,266,324 in campaign contributions. The state house had 292 candidates running for office who raised a total of $23,068,639 in campaign contributions.

Senate

The top 10 donors were:[14]

Donor Amount
Leach Jr., Claude (Buddy) $293,669
Senate Democratic Campaign Cmte of Louisiana $249,598
Leach, Claude Buddy $237,000
Louisiana Republican Party $230,380
Quinn, Patrick & Julie $230,000
Peacock, Barrow $229,782
Jack Donahue $205,000
John A. Alario, Jr. $200,000
Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation Campaign Cmte $185,000
Louisiana Association of Business & Industry $174,344

House

The top 10 donors were:[15]

Donor Amount
Louisiana House Democratic Campaign Cmte $464,391
Leblank, Patrick L $381,647
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry $328,662
Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation Campaign Cmte $317,500
Brown, Troy $276,738
Scott Simon $201,288
Louisiana Manufacturers Association $182,513
Louisiana State Farm Agents $170,750
Crescent River Port Pilots Association $168,650
Aycock, Michelle $160,134

Races to watch

Senate

On September 12, 2011, Louisiana news organization Bayou Buzz issued a report on the top five Louisiana Senate races to watch. They are as follows:[16]

While Smith has received the support of retiring Senate President Joel Chaisson and was initially considered to be a clear replacement, the report cites Monti as gaining ground because of Smith's status as an insider.
Slagle is cited as having crossover appeal with Jackson's base, which could result in a split vote, allowing Tarver, a former senator, to reclaim his former seat.
Dorsey was reported as not accomplishing much in the legislature, while Jackson raised his profile in the House. Jackson, it notes, would not be a solid Democratic vote, which Dorsey has been.
Although LaFleur is the incumbent, his district has become more Republican. The Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority and the GOP victory fund are expected to play big roles.
The report states that Guillory advocated for a redistricting plan pushed for by the Louisiana Family Forum, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, that would have packed black voters into districts, reducing the number of majority-minority seats. This could potentially backfire, especially since Cravins has been popular while serving as Mayor of Opelousas.

Mississippi

Elections were held in all 52 of Mississippi's senate districts on November 8, 2011.

The signature filing deadline was on June 1. Mississippi's primary was held on August 2, 2011.

Redistricting

On March 17, the NAACP filed an injunction to prevent elections from being held this year. The group alleges that the redistricting process has not produced maps that are current to reflect new population figures.[17][18] A mid-May court ruling ordered the elections proceed under the existing districts, with redistricting taken up again in 2012.

Whether special elections would be ordered in 2012 once redistricting was complete was left undecided by the court.

House control

The Democratic Party has controlled the Mississippi House of Representatives since Reconstruction. This fall may present the first opportunity for the GOP to capture the chamber. Democrats have a 13-seat advantage heading into the election. In the 2010 elections Republicans enjoyed sweeping gains across the country and in particular in southern states. According to an August 2011 Wall Street Journal article, Republicans have identified 21 House seats to target on November 8, 2011. Tim Saler, executive director of the state GOP, said the party plans to spend more than $1 million supporting candidates.[19] Meanwhile, Richard Wilbourn, an attorney, is leading a tea party effort called "Move the House" to help candidates in Democratic-held districts where Governor Haley Barbour received at least 50 percent in 2007.[20]

Heading into the 2011 election, the partisan breakdown in Mississippi's two chambers is:

Mississippi State Senate
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 24 21
     Republican Party 27 31
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 52 52


Mississippi House of Representatives
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 68 59
     Republican Party 54 63
Total 122 122


Campaign donors

2007 was the last year that the state senate and state house held elections. In that year, the 119 candidates for state senate raised a total of $5,740,791 in campaign contributions. The 253 candidates for state house raised a total of $6,201,617 in campaign contributions.

Senate

The top 10 contributors were:[21]

Donor Amount
Lawyers Involved for Mississippi Betterment $242,696
Mississippi Republican Party $175,000
Billy Hudson $120,000
Mississippi Bankers Association $96,170
Improve Mississippi $94,540
Mississippi Hospital Association $94,500
Home Builders Association of Mississippi $75,700
Mississippi Medical Association $74,000
Mississippi Association of Realtors $69,950
AT&T $53,400

House

The top 10 donors were:[22]

Donor Amount
Mississippi House Democratic Leadership $343,247
Mississippi Republican Party $248,791
Mississippi Association of Realtors $113,200
Mississippi Medical Association $111,200
Reeves, John $106,730
Lawyers Involved for Mississippi Betterment $99,503
AT&T $91,809
Mississippi Bankers Association $90,500
Mississippi Hospital Association $86,250
Improve Mississippi $85,467

New Jersey

Elections were held in all 40 of New Jersey's senate districts on November 8, 2011. The primary election filing deadline for all candidates was April 11, at 4 p.m.[23]

Of the possible competitive seats, the most heavily watched appears to be in District 38, where Democratic incumbents Robert Gordon (State Senator), Connie Wagner and Timothy Eustace (Assembly members) defend their seats in races that have combined to raise the most campaign contributions in history for a single district -- $3.6 million. The final figure is expected to be above $4 million.[24]

Primary

See also: Ballotpedia news report on New Jersey primary competitiveness

New Jersey's primary was held on June 7, 2011. Third party candidates were added to the New Jersey Department of State's Senate and General Assembly candidate lists on June 7. This information is reflected on the New Jersey State Senate and New Jersey General Assembly election pages.

New Jersey has 40 legislative districts, leaving 80 possible primaries in each chamber -- 40 Democratic and 40 Republican. In the Senate, a primary is "contested" when at least two candidates are competing for their respective party’s nomination. In the General Assembly, a contested primary will feature at least 3 candidates since the top-2 vote getters advance to the general election.

There were only 9 contested primaries out of the 80 primaries in the Senate. In the General Assembly, only 15 of the 80 primaries were contested. All told, only 24 out of the 160 primaries on June 7 (15%) required voters to choose between multiple candidates. In the remaining 136 primaries (85%), the candidate (or candidates in the New Jersey General Assembly) automatically advanced to the general election.

Comparing Contested Primaries of past three NJ Elections
Democrats Republicans Total
2007 2009 2011 2007 2009 2011 2007 2009 2011
Open contested 4 0 2 4 6 10 8 6 12
Open uncontested 36 15 29 46 17 40 82 32 69
Incumbent contested 7 9 8 3 8 4 10 17 12
Incumbent uncontested 33 16 38 20 7 25 53 23 63
Total contested 11 9 10 7 14 14 18 23 24
Total uncontested 69 31 67 66 24 65 135 55 132
No Candidates 0 0 3 7 2 1 7 2 4

Note: In 2009, only the General Assembly held elections. Senators are elected to four-year terms (except in the year after redistricting, like 2011, when they receive two-year terms).

  • Total contested primaries have increased from 18 in 2007 to 24 in 2011
  • While the number of incumbents contested has increased from 10 in 2007 to 12 in 2011, the number of uncontested incumbents has grown even more. In 2007, 53 incumbents were uncontested but 63 will advance straight to the general election in 2011 due to a decrease in open seats.
  • The total number of uncontested primaries has stayed largely the same -- 135 in 2007 and 132 in 2011.
  • When combining all 400 primaries over the past 3 elections, 322 -- or 80.5% -- of all primaries have been uncontested.

Party Registration

As of March 23, the voter registration totals in New Jersey are as follows:[25]

Unaffiliated Democratic Party Republican Party Green Party Libertarian Party Reform Party Constitution Party Natural Law Party Conservative Party TOTAL
Registered Voters 2,405,665 1,729,807 1,055,475 1,008 1,441 63 138 31 337 5,193,965
 % of all voters 46.32% 33.30% 20.32% 0.02% 0.03% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.01% 100%

The last time both chambers held elections -- in 2007 -- a total of 1,546,701 ballots were cast out of the 4,787,102 registered voters. Thus, turnout was 32% in the 2007 elections. Heading into the 2011 election, the partisan breakdown in New Jersey's two chambers is:

New Jersey State Senate
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 24 24
     Republican Party 16 16
Total 40 40
New Jersey General Assembly
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 47 48
     Republican Party 33 32
Total 80 80

Campaign donors

2007 was the last year that the state senate and state house both held elections. In that year, the state senate had 98 candidates and raised a total of $30,156,484 in campaign contributions. The state house had 204 candidates who raised a total of $26,388,602 in campaign contributions.

Senate

The top 10 donors were:[26]

Donor Amount
Senate Democratic Majority of New Jersey $2,274,904
Public Fund $1,285,395
Union City First $870,637
Choice for Change $461,800
Hudson County Democratic Organization $409,971
New Jersey Republican Party $291,187
New Jersey Democratic Party $275,591
Genovese, Gina $235,000
Manzo, Louis M $224,293
Steven Oroho $213,500

House

The top 10 donors were:[27]

Donor Amount
Public Fund $2,687,684
Panter & Mallet for Assembly $935,740
Hudson County Democratic Organization $803,942
New Jersey Republican Party $573,008
New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters $269,750
New Jersey Association of Realtors $268,700
New Jersey State Laborers $248,850
New Jersey Business & Industry Association $205,735
New Jersey Education Association $194,885
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 9 $191,950

Virginia

Elections were held in all 40 of Virginia's senate districts on November 8, 2011.[28]

The signature filing deadline for Democratic and Republican candidates was June 15, 2011 at 5 p.m.[29]

Virginia's primary was rescheduled to August 23, 201 instead of its usual date of June 14, 2011[30][31].[32]

Heading into the 2011 election, the partisan breakdown in Virginia's two chambers is:

Virginia State Senate
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 22 20
     Republican Party 18 20
Total 40 40
Virginia House of Delegates
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 39 32
     Republican Party 58 67
     Independent 2 1
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 100 100


Primary

Senate

The total number of contested primaries has remained low from 2007 to 2011.

Comparing Contested Primaries in Past VA Senate Elections
Democrats Republicans Total
2007 2011 2007 2011 2007 2011
Open contested 2 2 2 6 4 8
Incumbent contested 1 0 4 1 5 1
Total contested 3 2 6 7 9 9

There are a total of 40 districts in the Virginia State Senate, meaning that normally there would be 80 primaries. However, some districts use a caucus or convention rather than a primary to decide which candidate to send to the general election. 17 out of the 80 potential primaries decide on a candidate this way, leaving 63 which use primaries. Of these 63 primaries, only 9 are contested (14.3%).

The following district/party combinations do not use a primary.

Democratic Party Democrats: Districts 7, 12, 13, 15, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 38, 39

Republican Party Republicans: Districts 6, 17, 25, 29, 38, 40

House

The total number of contested primaries has remained low from 2009 to 2011.

Comparing Contested Primaries in Past VA House Elections
Democrats Republicans Total
2009 2011 2009 2011 2009 2011
Open contested 6 1 3 5 9 6
Incumbent contested 2 1 0 0 2 1
Total contested 8 2 3 5 11 7

There are a total of 100 districts in the Virginia House of Delegates, meaning that normally there would be 200 primaries. However, some districts use a caucus or convention rather than a primary to decide which candidate to send to the general election. 39 out of the 200 potential primaries decide on a candidate this way, leaving 161 which use primaries. Of these 161 primaries, only 7 are contested (4.3%).

The following district/party combinations do not use a primary.

Democratic Party Democrats: Districts 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 25, 31, 32, 33, 50, 51, 56, 57, 59, 67, 72, 73, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 98

Republican Party Republicans: Districts 1, 3, 15, 26, 47, 59, 64, 75, 88


Campaign donors

2007 was the last year that the state senate and state house both held elections. In that year, the 77 candidates for state senate raised a total of $31,534,141 in campaign contributions. The 156 candidates for state house raised a total of $32,931,206 in campaign contributions.

Senate

The top 10 donors were:[33]

Donor Amount
Democratic Party of Virginia $2,472,021
Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus $1,351,536
Virginia Senate Republican Leadership Trust $1,333,782
Moving Virginia Forward $914,467
Tom Davis for Congress $784,635
Republican Party of Virginia $760,699
Citizens for the Commonwealth $475,000
Rensin, David $394,500
Republican State Leadership Cmte $327,221
Holtzman, William B $308,747

House

The top 10 donors were:[34]

Donor Amount
Democratic Party of Virginia $2,187,401
Virginia House Democratic Caucus $1,816,227
Republican Party of Virginia $1,297,018
Dominion Leadership Trust $794,000
Moving Virginia Forward $429,990
Virginia Association of Realtors $401,466
Dominion $311,254
House Republican Campaign Cmte $290,487
Virginia Bankers Association $283,172
Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association $281,841

See also

References

  1. Stateline "Voter apathy is concern ahead of off-year elections," October 19, 2011
  2. New Orleans Times Picayune "Louisiana voter turnout expectations rise after brisk early voting," October 18, 2011
  3. Star Ledger "Most N.J. voters don't care about upcoming legislative elections, poll says," October 18, 2011
  4. Richmond Times Dispatch "Poll shows apathy about legislative elections," October 17, 2011
  5. WLBT "Tea Party takes aim at democratic seats," October 17, 2011
  6. Clarion Ledger, "Redistricting: Status quo of inequity," May 17, 2011
  7. Wall Street Journal Democrats Near Victory in New Jersey Redistricting," April 2, 2011
  8. New York Times "New Districts Seen as Aiding Democrats in New Jersey," April 3, 2011
  9. Daily Press, "Redistricting begins in earnest," March 9, 2011
  10. Richmond Times-Dispatch, "McDonnell signs redistricting bill," April 30, 2011
  11. Governor's Office Press Release, "Governor McDonnell Acts on Redistricting Legislation," April 15, 2011
  12. Nebraska has no lower house
  13. Louisiana Elections Calendar
  14. Follow the Money: "Louisiana Senate 2007 Campaign Contributions"
  15. Follow the Money: "Louisiana House 2007 Campaign Contributions"
  16. Bayou Buzz "Vitter, Jindal Ready To Hammer And Louisiana Legislative Races To Watch," September 12, 2011
  17. Fox 40 News "Redistricting issues lead to lawsuit," March 17, 2011
  18. Hattiesburg American "Suit filed over redistricting," March 17, 2011
  19. Wall Street Journal "Mississippi Republicans Aim for a Sweep in State," August 25, 2011
  20. Real Clear Politics "Tea party targets some Dem seats in Miss. House," August 10, 2011
  21. Follow the Money: "Mississippi Senate 2007 Campaign Contributions"
  22. Follow the Money: "Mississippi House 2007 Campaign Contributions"
  23. New Jersey Department of State Primary Election Timeline
  24. NJ Spotlight "Election Preview: Tracking the Contests that Matter Most," November 7, 2011
  25. Voter Registration in New Jersey, March 23, 2011 Report
  26. Follow the Money: "New Jersey Senate 2007 Campaign Contributions"
  27. Follow the Money: "New Jersey House 2007 Campaign Contributions"
  28. Virginia Elections Calendar
  29. Virginia 2011 Election Calendar
  30. Ballot Access News,"Virginia House Passes Bill Moving 2011 Primary from June to August," January 20, 2011
  31. Virginia General Assembly "History of House Bill 1507 (2011)"
  32. Virginia Public Access Project "Update:Primaries to be held August 23," January 30, 2011
  33. Follow the Money: "Virginia Senate 2007 Campaign Contributions"
  34. Follow the Money: "Virginia House 2007 Campaign Contributions"