Whiteboard State Election Preview
The November 6, 2012 election is expected to bring unprecedented change to the makeup of the state legislatures. Not only will over 81 percent of the nation’s state legislative seats be up for grabs, but the once-in-a-decade convergence of term limits and redistricting changes is likely to produce unusually high levels of turnover. The election also comes on the heels of the 2010 midterm elections, which resulted in a turnover of almost 24 percent of lawmakers, and having two high-turnover cycles back to back makes it possible that the number of seats changing hands in 2012 will break records.
These changes also make it likely that at the start of the 2013 legislative sessions, approximately half of all state legislators will have served for two years or less.
The state-level elections could also feel a strong impact from the closely-contested race for the White House. Polling currently gives Democratic President Barack Obama a +1.2 advantage over his opponent, Republican Governor Mitt Romney, but by all accounts the race remains too close to predict.
- The first section examines the impact of term limits, redistricting, campaign finance laws at large, and highlights the key elections in all states.
- The second section takes a look at key ballot iniatives and referenda in all 50 states.