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2012 U.S. House Elections

Election Date
November 6, 2012

Election Results

U.S. Senate Elections by State
Arizona • California • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Hawaii • Indiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Dakota • Ohio • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

U.S. House Elections by State
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

Elections Information
Election DatesVoting in Primaries
Voting on November 6, 2012
Poll Opening and Closing Times

Elections to the U.S. House were held on November 6, 2012. All 435 seats were up for election.

The 2012 elections were the first using new redistricting maps based on 2010 Census data. As a result of redistricting, the number of swing races that are competitive was expected to drop below 100.[1] Redistricting was considered a draw between Democrats and Republicans, with both parties gaining advantages in some states.[2] Democrats would have required a net gain of 25 seats to re-take control of the U.S. House.[3] The 2012 election produced the largest class of Latinos to ever enter Congress, while simultaneously showing the biggest increase in total seats held by Latino representatives in the history of the House. There were 22 incumbent Latinos on the ballot, and as many as nine additional challengers were considered possible to win. A total of 30 Latino members were elected to the 113th Congress.[4][5]

For only the fourth time in 100 years, the party that pulled the most total popular votes nationwide did not win control of the House.[6][7] Democratic candidates nationwide tallied more votes than Republican candidates. The last time this occurred was in 1952, when Democrats won the popular vote but Republicans won the House. The other two times this phenomenon took place was 1914 and 1942, when Republicans won the popular vote but did not win the most seats.[8] Republicans were not required to win a single Democratic-leaning district in order to hold their majority, owing to the fact that 241 districts have GOP-leaning populations.[9]

Following the general election, Democratic candidates held on to nine seats that had a political lean favoring Republicans by 54% or more. This is down from prior to 2010 where Democrats held 32 seats in that same environment. With regards to ticket-splitting, there were 24 districts in which one party's nominee carried the presidential vote and the other party's nominee won the congressional race. All but four of which were won by an incumbent.[10]

In 2010, 53 incumbents lost to challengers with Republicans swinging 60 total seats in their favor.[11]

Partisan breakdown

Heading into the 2012 election, Republicans were the majority party in the U.S. House. A total of 218 seats were needed for a majority. Republicans could have lost as many as 24 seats in the November election and still maintained control of the chamber. Democrats needed to win at least 25 seats to take back the partisan advantage.

U.S. House Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 193 201
     Republican Party 242 234
Total 435 435

A Washington Post article in May 2012 indicated that the Republican House majority was no guarantee, based on polls indicated the vulnerability of some incumbents in neutral districts.[12] A Politico story in May 2012 pointed to California as the likely state that would determine whether Democrats win control of the House.[13] An October 24, 2012, article in Bloomberg Businessweek indicated that Republicans were in a "strong position" to retain their majority in the House. Political analysts predicted that Democrats could gain up to 10 seats on election night.[14][15] A Salon article highlighted that while Democratic candidates won more than a million votes over Republican candidates in the 2012 general election, most of the votes were clustered around urban areas as opposed being broadly dispersed across the country. There are 47 districts with a partisan divide of 70 percent to 30 percent in favor of Democrats. Only 23 such districts exist on the Republican side. Of the 16 districts where the partisan divide is 80% to 20% or more, Democrats represent 15 of them.[10]

Margin of victory

There were a total of 435 seats up for election in 2012. The following table shows the margin of victory for each race winner, which is calculated by examining the percentage difference between the top-two vote getters. If the race was uncontested, the margin of victory is listed as 100%. Some general facts:

  • 30 races (6.9 percent) had a margin of victory of less than 5 percent. Of those 30 races, 18 were Democratic winners while 12 were Republican.
  • 33 races (7.6 percent) had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent. Of those 33 races, 15 were Democratic winners while 18 were Republican.
  • 87 races (20 percent) had a margin of victory between 10 and 20 percent. Of those 87 races, 23 were Democratic winners while 64 were Republican.
  • 285 races (65.5 percent) had a margin of victory of greater than 20 percent. Of those 285 races, 145 were Democratic winners while 140 were Republican.
  • The fewest votes were in Texas' 29th District, with only 95,611 total votes. Incumbent Gene Green (D) faced two third-party candidates in the general election.
  • The most votes were in Montana, with 479,740 votes cast. Montana has a total population of 998,199 -- which is roughly 250,000 above the average district size in states without single districts. Because Montana has only one district for the whole state, its voters per district is higher than the rest of the country. The average size of each district is 709,000. The second-most votes cast came in Colorado's 2nd District, with 421,580 total votes.
  • The smallest margin of victory, was North Carolina's 7th District, where incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre defeated David Rouzer (R) by 0.2 percent (654 votes).
  • The largest margin of victory where both major parties fielded a general election candidate was in New York's 15th District, where incumbent Democrat Jose Serrano defeated Frank Della Valle (R) by 83%.
  • The average margin of victory of all congressional districts was 31.85%, meaning that on average the winner of each race received nearly twice as many votes as the top opponent. Average MOV for Democratic winners was 35.7%, while the average for Republicans was 28.6%.
  • The average number of votes cast per district was 281,917, yielding an average voter turnout of 39.76%.

Retiring incumbents

Ballotpedia staff counted 42 total current incumbents who did not run for re-election in the 2012 elections.

  • Democratic Party 23 Democrats
  • Republican Party 19 Republicans
Name Party District
Barney Frank Electiondot.png Democratic Massachusetts, District 4
Bob Filner Electiondot.png Democratic California, District 51
Bob Turner Ends.png Republican New York, District 9
Brad Miller Electiondot.png Democratic North Carolina, District 13
Charlie Gonzalez Electiondot.png Democratic Texas, District 20
Christopher S. Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic Connecticut, District 5
Connie Mack Ends.png Republican Florida, District 14
Dale E. Kildee Electiondot.png Democratic Michigan, District 5
Dan Boren Electiondot.png Democratic Oklahoma, District 2
Dan Burton Ends.png Republican Indiana, District 5
David Dreier Ends.png Republican California, District 26
Dennis Cardoza Electiondot.png Democratic California, District 18
Denny Rehberg Ends.png Republican U.S. House, Montana, At-large
Ed Towns Electiondot.png Democratic New York, District 10
Elton Gallegly Ends.png Republican California, District 24
Gary Ackerman Electiondot.png Democratic New York, District 5
Geoff Davis Ends.png Republican Kentucky, District 4
Heath Shuler Electiondot.png Democratic North Carolina, District 11
Jay Inslee Electiondot.png Democratic Washington, District 1
Jeff Flake Ends.png Republican Arizona, District 6
Jerry F. Costello Electiondot.png Democratic Illinois, District 12
Jerry Lewis Ends.png Republican California, District 41
Joe Donnelly Electiondot.png Democratic Indiana, District 2
John Olver Electiondot.png Democratic Massachusetts, District 1
Lynn Woolsey Electiondot.png Democratic California, District 6
Martin Heinrich Electiondot.png Democratic New Mexico, District 1
Maurice Hinchey Electiondot.png Democratic New York, District 22
Mazie K. Hirono Electiondot.png Democratic Hawaii, District 2
Mike Pence Ends.png Republican Indiana, District 6
Mike Ross Electiondot.png Democratic Arkansas, District 4
Norm Dicks Electiondot.png Democratic Washington, District 6
Rick Berg Ends.png Republican North Dakota, At-Large, District
Ron Paul Ends.png Republican Texas, District 14
Shelley Berkley Electiondot.png Democratic Nevada, District 1
Steve Austria Ends.png Republican Ohio, District 7
Steven C. LaTourette Ends.png Republican Ohio, District 14
Sue Wilkins Myrick Ends.png Republican North Carolina, District 9
Tammy Baldwin Electiondot.png Democratic Wisconsin, District 2
Timothy V. Johnson Ends.png Republican Illinois, District 15
W. Todd Akin Ends.png Republican Missouri, District 2
Todd Russell Platts Ends.png Republican U.S. House, Pennsylvania, District 19
Wally Herger Ends.png Republican California, District 2

Defeated incumbents


No officials have been added to this category yet.


In 2012, a total of 13 incumbents were defeated in U.S. House primaries. They are:

Name Party District Year Assumed Office
Benjamin Quayle Ends.png Republican Arizona, District 3 2011
Cliff Stearns Ends.png Republican Florida, District 6 1989
Dennis J. Kucinich Democratic Ohio, District 10 1997
Donald A. Manzullo Ends.png Republican Illinois, District 16 1993
Hansen Clarke Electiondot.png Democratic Michigan, District 13 2011
Jason Altmire Electiondot.png Democratic Pennsylvania, District 4 2007
Jean Schmidt Ends.png Republican Ohio, District 2 2005
John Sullivan Ends.png Republican Oklahoma, District 1 2002
Russ Carnahan Electiondot.png Democratic Missouri, District 3 2005
Sandy Adams Ends.png Republican Florida, District 24 2011
Silvestre Reyes Electiondot.png Democratic Texas, District 16 1997
Steve Rothman Electiondot.png Democratic New Jersey, District 9 1997
Tim Holden Electiondot.png Democratic Pennsylvania, District 17 1993

Vulnerable incumbents

Across the country, media and experts published stories that chronicled the incumbents that were in danger of losing their bid for re-election. Some of those incumbents mentioned included:


The state primaries listed by month were as follows:

This map displays the month of each
Congressional primary in 2012
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNewVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaCong primaries colored by month12.png


  • Ohio, March 6
  • Alabama, March 13
  • Mississippi, March 13
  • Illinois, March 20


  • Maryland, April 3
  • Pennsylvania, April 24


  • Indiana, May 8
  • North Carolina, May 8
  • West Virginia, May 8
  • Idaho, May 15
  • Nebraska, May 15
  • Oregon, May 15
  • Arkansas, May 22
  • Kentucky, May 22
  • Texas, May 29


  • California, June 5
  • Iowa, June 5
  • Montana, June 5
  • New Jersey, June 5
  • New Mexico, June 5
  • South Dakota, June 5
  • Maine, June 12
  • Nevada, June 12
  • North Dakota, June 12
  • South Carolina, June 12
  • Virginia, June 12
  • New York, June 26
  • Oklahoma, June 26
  • Utah, June 26
  • Colorado, June 26


  • Georgia, July 31


  • Tennessee, August 2
  • Kansas, August 7
  • Michigan, August 7
  • Missouri, August 7
  • Washington, August 7
  • Hawaii, August 11
  • Connecticut, August 14
  • Florida, August 14
  • Minnesota, August 14
  • Wyoming, August 21
  • Alaska, August 28
  • Arizona, August 28
  • Vermont, August 28


  • Massachusetts, September 6
  • Delaware, September 11
  • New Hampshire, September 11
  • Rhode Island, September 11

Candidates by state

See also: List of candidates running in U.S. Congress elections, 2012

More than 2,400 candidates filed to run for election to the U.S. House in 2012. For a list of all candidates who ran for office by state, see this page.

Democratic and Republican targets

The two political organizations that support each party's U.S. House candidates - the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee - released lists targeting various districts across the nation. Here are the organizations' lists including success rates in the 2012 election.[23][24][25]

Red to Blue

  • Successful (Democrat won): 28/55 (50.9%)
  • Unsuccessful (Republican won): 27/55 (49.1%)

Patriot Program

  • Successful (Republican won): 18/33 (54.5%)
  • Unsuccessful (Democrat won): 15/33 (45.5%)

Young Guns

  • Successful (Republican won): 13/42(31.0%)
  • Unsuccessful (Democrat won): 29/42 (69.0%)

Campaign finance

More than $1 billion was spent by candidates, political parties, and special interest groups during the 2012 election cycle.[26] Republican-leaning organizations spent $102 million on U.S. House races during the 2012 cycle while Democratic organizations spent $79 million.[27] According to the Sunlight Foundation, the DCCC spent $61,741,050 on the 2012 elections. Of those funds, 47.78 percent achieved the desired result, based on Sunlight Foundation analysis. The NRCC spent $64,653,292 on the 2012 elections. Of those funds, 31.88 percent achieved the desired result.[28]

After the first 15 months of the 2012 election cycle, candidates for the U.S. House had raised more than $566 million. That sum is $57 million more than the same point in 2010, and double the level at the same point in the election cycle as the 2002 races. Of that $566 million, Republicans raised $335 million while Democrats raised $221 million. The 2010 campaign set a fundraising record of $1.1 billion.[29] In April 2012, House Democrats reserved more than $32 million in ad time in districts across the country. The reservations by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee included 14 states, predominantly swing states. Headlining the spending was $8 million in Florida and $3 million in Ohio.[30] As of November 3, 2012, 26 races had seen more than $5 million in outside spending. In 2010, there were only two such races.[31]

In September 2012, the NRCC raised $12.4 million and had $29.5 million cash on hand.[32]

In October 2012, the Campaign Finance Institute and the Brennan Center for Justice released reports detailing the high levels of independent expenditures in the election cycle. The Campaign Finance Institute report determined that between October 5-12, more than $1 million was spent by outside groups in 3 House races alone. Those races are:[33]

The report from the Brennan Center for Justice at The New York University School of Law was published on October 22nd and focuses on 25 House races rated most competitive by The Cook Political Report.

Using the Federal Election Commission's October Quarterly campaign finance filings, 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." [35] A number of trends were identified regarding the volume, potential weight of outside spending and breakdown of campaign funding by party, including:

  • As of the end of the most recent reporting period, less than 60% of money spent on the 25 most hotly contested races came from the candidates' campaigns on average, and over 50% of the spending for 11 of the races were from outside groups/party committees.
  • The combined reported expenditures from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) mirror the total spending by "Republican-leaning and Democratic-leaning outside groups" in the 25 races going through the second week of October.
  • The role of small donations in influencing election outcomes could be eclipsed by the comparatively massive funding influence of the NRCC, DCCC, and other outside groups. "Excluding Florida's 18th district, where incumbent Allen West (R) raised a staggering $7.4 million in small donations through September 30th," Republican and Democratic candidates in the rest of the races raised only 7.6% and 12.4%, respectively, of money from donations under $200.


In October 2012, the House Majority PAC announced $8.4 million of ads in nine states targeting Republican candidates. The nine states were Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Virginia, Ohio, Connecticut, and Nevada.[36] The House Majority PAC also reported raising $5.9 million in September, a number which it hoped to double in October.[37]

On October 24, 2012, the DCCC borrowed $17 million to spend during the remainder of the 2012 elections. First reported in Politico, the money was intended to balance out the bombardment of GOP ads in the media.[38] According to a report in The Washington Post, House Republicans have been able to spend more money during the election cycle.[39]

Quarterly reports

On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures, specifically looking at three areas:[40]

1) Races where challengers outraised an incumbent in the third quarter: 24 races qualified -- 17 Democratic challengers and seven Republican challengers outraised their incumbent opponent.

Of the 24 races, the challenger was victorious in 11 of them, 8 D, 3 R, with 2 races still to be called.

2) Races where challengers had more cash-on-hand than the incumbent: 10 races qualified -- six Democratic challengers and four Republican challengers had more cash-on-hand than their incumbent opponent.

Of the 10 races, the challenger was victorious in 4 of them, 4 D, 0 R.

3) Races that were incumbent-vs-incumbent: Five incumbent-vs-incumbent races remain.


As of July 14, the DCCC had raised $96,754,717 and spent $70,064,229, leaving $27,496,113 cash on hand.[41] As of October 2012, the DCCC had raised $53.3 million from small donations during the election cycle -- which was $15 million more than during the entire 2010 election.[42]


In October 2012, the NRCC launched 16 new ads for a total spending of more than $6 million. The purchases were in the following districts:[43]

Competitive races


The website RealClearPolitics listed 50 districts in order of likelihood to switch party on November 6. Twenty of the 50 U.S. House seats most likely to switch party control were held by Democrats. The remaining 30 belonged to Republicans. Those districts are listed in the table below.[44]

Of the 20 seats held by the Democrats, 9 flipped. Of the 30 seats held by the GOP, 17 flipped. Of the 50 seats listed, they became 28 D, 22 R.

RealClearPolitics 50 Most likely US House Districts to Change Party
Rank District Party Incumbent November 6 Results Switch?
1 North Carolina's 13th District Electiondot.png Democratic Open Republican Party George E.B. Holding Yes
2 Illinois' 8th District Ends.png Republican Open Democratic Party Tammy Duckworth Yes
3 North Carolina's 11th District Electiondot.png Democratic Open Republican Party Mark Meadows Yes
4 Maryland's 6th District Ends.png Republican Roscoe Bartlett Democratic Party John Delaney Yes
5 North Carolina's 8th District Electiondot.png Democratic Larry Kissell Republican Party Richard Hudson Yes
6 Arkansas's 4th District Electiondot.png Democratic Open Republican Party Tom Cotton Yes
7 Florida's 22nd District Ends.png Republican Open Democratic Party Lois Frankel Yes
8 Illinois' 17th District Ends.png Republican Bobby Schilling Democratic Party Cheri Bustos Yes
9 New York's 27th District Electiondot.png Democratic Kathy Hochul Republican Party Chris Collins Yes
10 New Hampshire's 2nd District Ends.png Republican Charles Bass Democratic Party Annie Kuster Yes
11 Indiana's 2nd District Electiondot.png Democratic Open Republican Party Jackie Walorski Yes
12 Arizona's 1st District Ends.png Republican Open Democratic Party Ann Kirkpatrick Yes
13 California's 52nd District Ends.png Republican Brian Bilbray Democratic Party Scott Peters Yes
14 Georgia's 12th District Electiondot.png Democratic John Barrow Democratic Party John Barrow No
15 New York's 24th District Ends.png Republican Ann Marie Buerkle Democratic Party Dan Maffei Yes
16 North Carolina's 7th District Electiondot.png Democratic Mike McIntyre Democratic Party Mike McIntyre No
17 Washington's 1st District Electiondot.png Democratic Open Democratic Party Suzan DelBene No
18 Michigan's 11th District Ends.png Republican Open Republican Party Kerry Bentivolio No
19 Illinois' 11th District Ends.png Republican Judy Biggert Democratic Party Bill Foster Yes
20 Illinois' 10th District Ends.png Republican Robert J. Dold Democratic Party Brad Schneider Yes
21 Illinois' 12th District Electiondot.png Democratic Open Democratic Party William Enyart No
22 California's 26th District Ends.png Republican Open Democratic Party Julia Brownley Yes
23 New Hampshire's 1st District Ends.png Republican Frank Guinta Democratic Party Carol Shea-Porter Yes
24 Iowa's 3rd District Electiondot.png Democratic Leonard Boswell Republican Party Tom Latham Yes
25 Ohio's 16th District Ends.png Republican James B. Renacci Republican Party James B. Renacci No
26 California's 7th District Ends.png Republican Dan Lungren Democratic Party Ami Bera Yes
27 Pennsylvania's 12th District Electiondot.png Democratic Mark Critz Republican Party Keith Rothfus Yes
28 Florida's 18th District Ends.png Republican Allen West Democratic Party Patrick Murphy Yes
29 Oklahoma's 2nd District Electiondot.png Democratic Open Republican Party Markwayne Mullin Yes
30 Iowa's 4th District Ends.png Republican Steve King Republican Party Steve King No
31 New York's 21st District Electiondot.png Democratic Bill Owens Democratic Party Bill Owens No
32 California's 9th District Electiondot.png Democratic Jerry McNerney Democratic Party Jerry McNerney No
33 Colorado's 6th District Ends.png Republican Mike Coffman Republican Party Mike Coffman No
34 New York's 18th District Ends.png Republican Nan Hayworth Democratic Party Sean Maloney Yes
35 California's 24th District Electiondot.png Democratic Lois Capps Democratic Party Lois Capps No
36 New York's 1st District Electiondot.png Democratic Tim Bishop Democratic Party Tim Bishop No
37 Illinois' 13th District Ends.png Republican Open Republican Party Rodney Davis No
38 Rhode Island's 1st District Electiondot.png Democratic David N. Cicilline Democratic Party David N. Cicilline No
39 Wisconsin's 7th District Ends.png Republican Sean Duffy Republican Party Sean Duffy No
40 Nevada's 3rd District Ends.png Republican Joe Heck Republican Party Joe Heck No
41 Massachusetts' 6th District Electiondot.png Democratic John Tierney Democratic Party John Tierney No
42 Utah's 4th District Electiondot.png Democratic Jim Matheson Democratic Party Jim Matheson No
43 Minnesota's 8th District Ends.png Republican Chip Cravaack Democratic Party Rick Nolan Yes
44 Pennsylvania's 8th District Ends.png Republican Michael G. Fitzpatrick Republican Party Michael G. Fitzpatrick No
45 New York's 11th District Ends.png Republican Michael Grimm Republican Party Michael Grimm No
46 Colorado's 3rd District Ends.png Republican Scott Tipton Republican Party Scott Tipton No
47 California's 10th District Ends.png Republican Jeff Denham Republican Party Jeff Denham No
48 Florida's 26th District Ends.png Republican David Rivera Democratic Party Joe Garcia Yes
49 Virginia's 2nd District Ends.png Republican Scott Rigell Republican Party Scott Rigell No
50 New Jersey's 3rd District Ends.png Republican Jon Runyan Republican Party Jon Runyan No

New York Times

The New York Times rated the U.S. House races. There were five possible designations:

     Solid Democratic
     Lean Democratic
     Lean Republican
     Solid Republican

New York Times Political Report Race Rating -- U.S. House Competitive Districts
Month Solid D Lean D Tossup Lean R Solid R Total Seats in Play
July 25, 2012[45] 156 23 25 32 199 80
Note: A total of 218 seats are needed for the majority

Cook Political Report

Each month the Cook Political Report released race ratings for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (competitive only) and Governors. The races detailed below were only those considered competitive. There were six possible designations.[46]

     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic
     D Tossup

     R Tossup
     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican

Sabato Crystal Ball

Each month the Crystal Ball released race ratings for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (competitive only) and Governors. There were seven possible designations: [78]

     Solid Democratic
     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic


     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican
     Solid Republican

Sabato's Crystal Ball Race Rating -- U.S. House
Month Solid D Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R Solid R
June 6, 2012[79] 152 14 19 15 23 19 193
May 9, 2012[80] 151 16 21 13 23 21 190
April 2, 2012[81] 149 19 19 13 25 25 185

Center for Voting and Democracy

The Center for Voting and Democracy (Fairvote) released its projections in October 2012. According to the organization, there were 177 projected Republican winners, 156 projected Democratic winners, and 102 "no-projection" districts. Additionally:[82][83]

  • 238 districts had a Republican-tilt in partisanship
  • 189 district had a Democratic-tilt in partisanship
  • 8 districts were even

According to the study, Republicans were "far better positioned than Democrats to win control of the House."[84]


The 2012 elections were the first using new maps drawn as a result of the 2010 Census. The breakdown of states that won and lost new seats in the Congressional reapportionment is as follows:[85]

However, while population gains have generally taken place in Republican states, projections show the bulk of the increases are from minorities -- particularly in states like Arizona, Florida and Texas.[88] Minorities generally lean Democratic in elections.[89] According to an estimate by Salon.com, Republicans could have gained 15 new seats nationwide if they chose to impose "brutal" maps.[10]

Of the top 10 Congressional districts that needed to lose population -- meaning they were the fastest growing districts over the past decade in the country -- all of them were won by a Republican in the 2010 election. That implied, that Republicans would have an easier time spreading their voters across more districts while still managing to try and maintain a safe majority in those overly-populated districts. The most-populated district is the 3rd Congressional seat in Nevada, which has a population of 1,002,482. The least-populated district is the 1st Congressional seat in Nebraska, with 611,333 residents.[90]

According to Mike Shields, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s political director, redistricting "has taken a lot of seats off the table for Democrats."[91]

In 2010, the 10 closest U.S. House races were won by the following House members:[92]

A report by the Brennan Center for Justice indicated that California's redistricting likely cost the Democrats a chance at taking control of the U.S. House.[93] According to the report, Democrats were able to draw 44 congressional seats while Republican legislatures were responsible for 173 seats.[94]

Congressional approval rating

Throughout the 112th Congress, public sentiment was critical of the performance of elected officials. On February 8, 2012, Gallup released a poll in which a record-low of 10 percent of Americans approved of Congress. Viewpoints on Democrats and Republicans were equally negative. [95] "This Congress has been judged by almost everybody as the least productive, most confrontational Congress in a very, very long period of time," said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland).[96]

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?
Poll Approve DisapproveNo opinionMargin of ErrorSample Size
Gallup News Service (November 3-6, 2011)
Gallup News Service
(December 15-18, 2011)
Gallup News Service (January 5-8, 2012)
Gallup News Service (February 2-5, 2012)
Gallup News Service (March 8-11, 2012)
Gallup News Service (August 9-12, 2012)
Gallup News Service (September 6-9, 2012)
AVERAGES 11.71% 83.29% 5% +/-4 1,017.71
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.

Generic congressional ballot


Each week, RealClearPolitics releases a table with an aggregate of the generic congressional vote from a variety of polling organizations, including Rasmussen Reports, Politico, NPR, USA Today/Gallup and Bloomberg.[97]

Generic Congressional Ballot -- Average from RealClearPolitics
Poll Democratic Republican
AVERAGES 43.34% 43.8%
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.

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. USA Today "Redistricting takes some of the 'swing' out of House fights," April 23, 2012
  2. Los Angeles Times "Nationally, redistricting looks like a draw between the parties," January 14, 2012
  3. New York Times "New District Maps Toughen Democrats’ Race for House," April 19, 2012
  4. The Republic "New generation of Latino congressional candidates may make history in House," October 26, 2012
  5. ABC News "Congressional Hispanic Caucus Elects New Chairman," November 15, 2012
  6. Bloomberg "Republicans Can't Claim Mandate as Democrats Top House Vote" November 16, 2012
  7. Bloomberg, "Republicans Win Congress as Democrats Get Most Votes," March 18, 2013
  8. Ballot Access News "Only Four U.S. House Elections in the Last Hundred Years Gave One Party a House Majority, Even Though the Other Major Party Polled More Votes for U.S. House" November 12, 2012
  9. Washington Post "Partisan bias in U.S. House elections," November 15, 2012
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Salon.com "The House GOP can’t be beat: It’s worse than gerrymandering," January 13, 2013
  11. PBS "Congress Loses Hundreds of Years of Experience - But Majority of Incumbents Stick Around," November 5, 2010
  12. Washington Post "Why the GOP’s House majority isn’t safe," May 31, 2012
  13. Politico "Democrats look to California in bid to retake House," May 17, 2012
  14. Businessweek "Republicans in Strong Position to Keep U.S. House Control," October 24, 2012
  15. CBS News "Control of the House and redistricting's effect," November 4, 2012
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 16.12 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16 16.17 16.18 16.19 Washington Post "2012 redistricting: Top 10 matchups between incumbents," January 13, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 National Journal "Stick a fork in them?" November 23, 2011
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 18.8 National Journal "," October 17, 2011
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 19.8 19.9 Roll Call "Top 10 Vulnerable: Illinois, North Carolina Top List," November 10, 2011
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Politico "5 primaries to watch," September 11, 2011
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 21.8 21.9 The Hill "Five most vulnerable redistricted Dems," August 20, 2011
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 22.9 The Hill "Most vulnerable redistricted Republicans," August 21, 2011
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