Difference between revisions of "State senate elections, 2011"

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{{tnr}}'''Four state senates''' hold general elections in [[State legislative elections, 2011|November, 2011]].
 
{{tnr}}'''Four state senates''' hold general elections in [[State legislative elections, 2011|November, 2011]].
  
In the 50 states, there are [[state senators|1,971 state senators]].  In the 4 states where a state senate election will take place in November, there are a total of 171 senate seats.  In those states, '''171 senate seats are up for election''' in November.
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In the 50 states, there are [[state senators|1,971 state senators]].  In the 4 states where a state senate election took place in November, there are a total of 171 senate seats.  In those states, '''171 senate seats are up for election''' in November.
  
 
:: ''See also: [[State legislative elections, 2011|State legislative elections]] and [[State house elections, 2011|State house elections]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[State legislative elections, 2011|State legislative elections]] and [[State house elections, 2011|State house elections]]''

Revision as of 16:27, 12 February 2014

Four state senates hold general elections in November, 2011.

In the 50 states, there are 1,971 state senators. In the 4 states where a state senate election took place in November, there are a total of 171 senate seats. In those states, 171 senate seats are up for election in November.

See also: State legislative elections and State house elections

By the numbers

Number of seats in all 50 senates: 1,971
Number of seats in the 4 senates with November 2011 elections: 171
Number of seats up for election in the 4 senates with November 2011 elections: 171
 % of total (all 50 states) senate seats up for election in 2011: 8.7%
Number of senates with a November 2011 election with a current Democratic majority: 2
Number of senates with a November 2011 election with a current Republican majority: 2

Louisiana State Senate elections, 2011

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Going into the November 2011 elections, the Republican Party was the majority party in 29 state senates, including Louisiana. One chamber (Nebraska) is officially nonpartisan and in one chamber (Alaska), several Republicans vote with a caucus other than the Republican caucus. In 19 states, the Democratic Party held the majority party.

In the other 3 states with state senate elections in 2011 (Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia), the Democratic Party held the majority party in Virginia and New Jersey, while the Republican Party held the majority party in the Mississippi State Senate.

The current partisan composition of the Louisiana State Senate before and after the election:

Louisiana State Senate
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 17 15
     Republican Party 22 24
Total 39 39

Incumbents unopposed by a major party

2011 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index

Eighteen incumbents (46.2%) face no competition in the November 8 general election and are thus, barring unforeseen circumstances, guaranteed re-election in November.

  • 5 Democratic incumbents face no November challenger.
  • 13 Republican incumbent face no November challenger

2 challengers (one Democrat and one Republican) face no competition in the November 8 general election and are thus, barring unforeseen circumstances, guaranteed re-election in November.

Primary challenges

Six incumbents faced competition in the October 22 primary.

The following 6 incumbents faced primary opposition:

Retiring incumbents

Nine incumbent senators did not run for re-election, while 30 (76.9%) ran for re-election. Of the 9 incumbents who did not run for re-election, 6 are Democrats and 3 are Republicans. Furthermore, 6 of the retiring incumbents are ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits and 1 was displaced by redistricting.

Incumbents who are retiring are:

Incumbents displaced by redistricting

One incumbent senator was displaced by the 2011 redistricting process. District 2 Democratic senator Cynthia Willard-Lewis was displaced and is now running for election in district 3.

Mississippi State Senate elections, 2011

See also: Ballotpedia news report on Mississippi primary competitiveness

Primary contests in the Mississippi Senate remained fairly constant since the last election. As in 2007, roughly 2/3 of the state's major party candidates will proceed to the general election without a primary challenge. In addition, over 1/4 of possible primaries will not be held, since no candidate is running. Of the 75 party primaries, only 26 feature two or more candidates competing for the nomination. On top of that, 29 party primaries will not be held because no candidate is running.

Comparing Contested Primaries of past MS Senate Elections
Democrats Republicans Total
2007 2011 2007 2011 2007 2011
Open Contested 7 5 5 10 12 15
Open Uncontested 9 7 6 8 15 15
Incumbent Contested 8 5 5 6 13 11
Incumbent Uncontested 15 17 18 15 33 32
No candidates 13 18 18 11 31 29
Total contested 15 10 10 16 25 26
Total uncontested 24 24 24 23 48 47
See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Going into the November 2011 elections, the Republican Party was the majority party in 29 state senates, including Mississippi. One chamber (Nebraska) is officially nonpartisan and in one chamber (Alaska), several Republicans vote with a caucus other than the Republican caucus. In 19 states, the Democratic Party was the majority party.

In the other 3 states with state senate elections in 2011 (Louisiana, New Jersey and Virginia), the Democratic Party held the majority party in Virginia and New Jersey, while the Republican Party held the majority party in the Louisiana State Senate.

The partisan composition of the Mississippi State Senate before and after the election:

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


Candidates unopposed by a major party

2011 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index

Nineteen incumbents (36.5%) face no competition in the November 8 general election and are thus, barring unforeseen circumstances, guaranteed re-election in November.

  • 9 Democratic incumbents face no November challenger.
  • 10 Republican incumbent face no November challenger

Four challengers face no competition in the November 8 general election and are thus, barring unforeseen circumstances, guaranteed re-election in November. All 4 of those unopposed challengers are Republican.

Primary challenges

Ten incumbents faced competition in the August 2 primary. Incumbent Republican Doug Davis (District 1) was defeated by challenger Chris Massey, incumbent Republican Sidney Albritton (District 40) was defeated by challenger Angela Hill in a runoff election, incumbent Republican Ezell Lee (District 47) was defeated by challenger Tony Smith, and incumbent Republican Tommy Moffatt (District 52) was defeated by challenger Brice Wiggins.

The following 6 incumbents (4 Democrats, 2 Republicans) won their primaries:

Retiring incumbents

Nine incumbent senators did not run for re-election, while 43 (82.7%) ran for re-election. Of the 9 incumbents who did not run for re-election, 3 are Democrats and 6 are Republicans.

Incumbents who are retiring are:

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011

See also: Ballotpedia news report on New Jersey primary competitiveness

Despite the heightened political climate of the 2010 general elections, New Jersey's 2011 Senate primaries remained generally uncompetitive. As in 2007, a large majority of the state's major party candidates proceeded to the general election without a primary challenge. Of the 77 party primaries, only 9 featured two or more candidates competing for the nomination.

Comparing Contested Primaries in Past NJ Senate Elections
Democrats Republicans Total
2007 2011 2007 2011 2007 2011
Open contested 2 0 3 4 5 4
Open uncontested 21 15 22 22 43 37
Incumbent contested 4 3 0 2 4 5
Incumbent uncontested 13 20 11 11 24 31
No Candidates 0 2 4 1 4 3
Total contested 6 3 3 6 9 9
Total uncontested 34 35 33 33 67 68
See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Going into the November 2011 elections, the Republican Party was the majority party in 29 state senates. One chamber (Nebraska) is officially nonpartisan and in one chamber (Alaska), several Republicans vote with a caucus other than the Republican caucus. In 19 states, the Democratic Party was the majority party. The New Jersey State Senate was one of the 19 chambers with a Democratic Party majority.

In the other 3 states with state senate elections in 2011 (Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia), the Democratic Party was the majority party in Virginia, while the Republican Party was the majority party in the state senates of Louisiana and Mississippi.

The partisan composition of the New Jersey State Senate before and after the election is as follows:

New Jersey State Senate
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 24 24
     Republican Party 16 16
Total 40 40

Races to watch

  • Districts 2, 14, & 38: These districts were considered among the most competitive in the November 8 general election. Both PolitickerNJ and Asbury Park Press identified these districts as some of few competitive races in 2011. APP noted that all three districts became more Republican on paper with a shrinking proportion of registered Democrats. However, PolitickerNJ predicted that these changes will not ultimately result in GOP pick ups. NJ Spotlight even predicted that Assemblyman Vincent Polistina's decision to run for the Senate, may weaken the GOP assembly ticket in District 2.[1][2][3]
  • District 1: PolitickerNJ noted that District 1 appeared to have Republican leanings--on paper. However, strong historical support for Senator Jeff Van Drew (D) called the predictive power of these figures into question. However, NJSpotlight noted that Republicans seem to be focused on reclaiming the district's assembly seats. Nevertheless, redistricting weakened the Republican base in District 1.[2][3]
  • District 7: District 7 was split between both parties, with Republicans controlling the Senate seat and Democrats controlling the two Assembly seats. PolitickerNJ noted that several Republican-leaning areas were added to the area in redistricting, but since these districts came from a solidly Republican districts, Democratic turnout in these areas may expand in 2011. Joseph Malone, III (R) was also moved into District 7 via redistricting, but decided to retire. Jack Conners (D), on the other hand, was moved out of District 7 by redistricting and ultimately decided to retire. Troy Singleton was quickly appointed to replace Connors in the Assembly and run in District 7.[2][3]
  • District 11: District 11 was reshaped to become a minority opportunity district. While NJSpotlight predicted a win for the GOP ticket, PolitickerNJ noted that the Asbury Park Press endorsement of Vin Gopal (D) may increase his chances of election. Also, the Democratic challengers in District 11 raised over $100,000.[2][3]
  • District 16: District 16 was also significantly reshaped in 2011, moving its population center away from Somerset County. All of the Republican candidates (two incumbents and one challenger) were from the Somerset area. However, NJSpotlight noted that despite these changes and balanced partisan registration, the Democratic ticket remained relatively unfamiliar to voters.[2][3]

Christie predicts "historic" results

About two weeks before the general election, Governor Chris Christie (R) predicted that his party would retain its legislative seats on November 8. History, however, suggests that midterm losses are the norm for the governor's political party. Christie acknowledged that the results would "defy history."[4]

Candidates unopposed by a major party

2011 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index

One incumbent (0.9%) faced no competition in the November 8 general election.

  • 1 Republican incumbent (Dawn Addiego faced no November challenger

Addiego was slated to face Carl Lewis (D) in the general election but he was removed from the ballot over candidacy issues.

Primary challenges

Five incumbents faced competition in the June 7 primary.

The following 5 incumbents (3 Democrats, 2 Republicans) won their primaries:

Retiring incumbents

Four incumbent senators did not run for re-election, while 36 (90%) ran for re-election. Of the 4 incumbents who did not run for re-election, 1 is a Democrat and 3 are Republicans.

Incumbents who retired are:

Incumbents displaced by redistricting

Seven incumbent senators were displaced by the 2011 redistricting process. Of the 7 displaced incumbents, 5 are Democrats and 2 are Republicans.

Incumbents who were displaced by redistricting:

  • District 2: Incumbent Democrat Bud Phillips now resides in district 4.
  • District 10: Incumbent Democrat Ward Armstrong was moved to district 16. He decided to move to a residence in district 9, where he now seeks election.
  • District 11: Incumbent Democrat Sean Kean, who is now running for District 30 of the General Assembly.
  • District 12: Incumbent Republican Jennifer Beck now resides in district 11.
  • District 18: Incumbent Republican Clay Athey now resides in district 29.
  • District 35: Incumbent Democrat John Girgenti , who did not seek re-election.
  • District 87: Incumbent Democrat Paula Miller now resides in district 100.

Virginia State Senate elections, 2011

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

Uncontested primaries

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%).

District without primaries

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

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Going into the November 2011 elections, the Republican Party was the majority party in 29 state senates. One chamber (Nebraska) is officially nonpartisan and in one chamber (Alaska), several Republicans vote with a caucus other than the Republican caucus. In 19 states, the Democratic Party held the majority party. The Virginia State Senate was one of the 19 chambers with a Democratic Party majority.

In the other 3 states with state senate elections in 2011 (Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey), the Democratic Party held the majority party in New Jersey, while the Republican Party held the majority party in the state senates of Louisiana and Mississippi.

The partisan composition of the Virginia State Senate before and after the election:

Virginia State Senate
Party As of November 2011 After the 2011 Election
     Democratic Party 22 20
     Republican Party 18 20
Total 40 40

Races to watch

The following are races to watch in the 2011 elections that will likely dictate partisan control.

Obama visit

Some Democrats who are facing close races in the Virginia Senate this year are trying to distance themselves from President Obama, stating that they will not commit to supporting him in his re-election bid in 2012. This has come about as a result of Obama's two day trip to Virginia this October. Among Democratic senators who have distanced themselves are Linda Todd "Toddy" Puller and Phillip Puckett. Others such as Roscoe Reynolds and R. Edward "Edd" Houck have declined to say if they would support Obama next year.[7]

Clinton visit

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton held a fundraiser on October 26, 2011 for Democratic candidates. According to the Democratic Party, the event raised more than $1 million. More than half of Democratic candidates for Senate attended the event. Richard Saslaw (D), Senate Majority Leader, said there are "five or six" races that the party has identified to watch closely.[8]

Candidates unopposed by a major party

2011 state legislative elections analyzed using a Competitiveness Index

14 incumbents (35%) face no competition in the November 8 general election and are thus, barring unforeseen circumstances, guaranteed re-election in November.

  • 3 Democratic incumbents face no November challenger.
  • 11 Republican incumbents face no November challenger

Primary challenges

Only one incumbent faced competition in the August 23 primary. That incumbent, Thomas Norment defeated his challenger, Mark Frechette.

Retiring incumbents

Seven incumbent senators did not run for re-election, while 33 (82.5%) ran for re-election. Of the 7 incumbents who did not run for re-election, 3 are Democrats and 4 are Republicans.

Incumbents who are retiring are:

Incumbents displaced by redistricting

Two incumbent senators were displaced by the 2011 redistricting process. Of the 2 displaced incumbents, both are Republicans.

Incumbents who were displaced by redistricting:

  • District 19: Incumbent Republican Bill Stanley now resides in district 20.
  • District 22: Incumbent Republican Ralph Smith now resides in district 19.


See also

References