#Voting #results #pennsylvania #2016
Voting results pennsylvania 2016
Pennsylvania House of Representatives elections, 2016
All 203 seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives were up for election in 2016. Republicans gained two seats after the November 2016 election.
Elections for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives took place in 2016. The primary election was held on April 26, 2016, and the general election was held on November 8, 2016. The candidate filing deadline was February 16, 2016.
Heading into the election, the Republican Party held the majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives:
Fifteen incumbents did not run for re-election in 2016. Those incumbents were:
Note: Thomas Killion (R-168) declined to run for re-election. He was elected to the state Senate in a special election on April 26, 2016. Christopher Quinn (R) was elected to Killion’s seat in a special election on July 12. He was sworn in to the chamber on August 18, 2016.
2016 election competitiveness
Pennsylvania saw a dip in electoral competitiveness.
Ballotpedia conducts a yearly study of electoral competitiveness in state legislative elections. Details on how well Pennsylvania performed in the study are provided in the image below. Click here for the full 2016 Competitiveness Analysis »
- In the Pennsylvania State Senate, there were 19 Democratic incumbents and 31 Republican incumbents. Three incumbents faced primary challengers in the Democratic Party. No incumbents faced primary challenges in the Republican primary.
- In the House, there were 84 Democratic incumbents and 119 Republican incumbents. Sixteen state representatives faced primary opposition in the Democratic Party. Nine incumbents faced primary challenges in the Republican primary.
- Overall, 18.6 percent of Democratic incumbents and 21.4 percent of GOP incumbents faced primary opposition in all of the state legislatures with elections in 2016.
- The cumulative figure for how many state legislative candidates faced no major party opposition in November in these states was 41.8 percent. This compares to 32.7 percent in 2010, 38.3 percent in 2012, and 43.0 percent in 2014.
- More details on electoral competitiveness in Pennsylvania can be found below.
List of candidates
Important dates and deadlines
The calendar below lists important dates for political candidates in Pennsylvania in 2016.
Candidates unopposed by a major party
In 98 (48.2%) of the 203 districts up for election in 2016, there was only one major party candidate running for election. A total of 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats were guaranteed election barring unforeseen circumstances.
Two major party candidates faced off in the general election in 105 (51.7%) of the 203 districts up for election.
Twenty-five incumbents faced primary competition on April 26. Fourteen incumbents (as of the primary election) did not seek re-election in 2016, and another 164 incumbents advanced past the primary without opposition. The following incumbents were defeated in the primary:
Fifteen incumbent representatives did not run for re-election, while 188 (92.6%) ran for re-election. A list of the retiring incumbents—eight Republicans and seven Democrats—can be found above.
Results from 2014
There were 6,057 seats in 87 chambers with elections in 2014. All three aspects of Ballotpedia’s Competitiveness Index—the number of open seats, incumbents facing primary opposition and general elections between partisan candidates—showed poor results compared to the prior election cycle. States with elections in 2014 held fewer general elections between partisan candidates; additionally, fewer incumbents faced primary opposition and more incumbents ran for re-election than in recent years.
From 2010 (when the Competitiveness Index was established) to 2014, there was not an even-year election cycle that performed statistically worse than 2014 in any of the three categories. See the following chart for a breakdown of those scores between each year.
The following table details Pennsylvania’s rates for open seats, incumbents that faced primary challenges, and major party competition in the 2014 general election.
Uncontested elections: Uncontested elections have become a staple of state legislative elections. In 2014, 32.8 percent of Americans lived in states with an uncontested state senate election. Similarly, 40.4 percent of Americans lived in states with uncontested house elections. Primary elections were uncontested even more frequently, with 61 percent of people living in states with no contested primaries. Traditionally, Southern states have experienced more uncontested elections than the rest of the country, though this has begun to change in more recent elections. Uncontested elections often occur in locations that are so politically one-sided that the result of an election would be a foregone conclusion regardless of whether it was contested or not.
Open seats: In most cases, an incumbent will run for re-election, which decreases the number of open seats available. In 2014, 83 percent of the 6,057 seats up for election saw the incumbent running for re-election. The states that impose term limits on their legislatures typically see a higher percentage of open seats in a given year because a portion of incumbents in each election are forced to leave office. Overall, the number of open seats decreased from 2012 to 2014, dropping from 21.2 percent in 2012 to 17.0 percent in 2014.
Incumbent win rates: Ballotpedia’s competitiveness analysis documented the high propensity for incumbents to win re-election in state legislative elections. In fact, since 1972, the win rate for incumbents has not dropped below 90 percent—with the exception of 1974, when 88 percent of incumbents were re-elected to their seats. The 1974 election, however, is unique in that it followed the Watergate scandal and gave Democrats the opportunity to sweep seats across the nation. Perhaps most importantly, the win rate for incumbents has generally increased over time. In 2014, 96.5 percent of incumbents were able to retain their seats. Common convention holds that incumbents are able to leverage their office to maintain their seat. However, the high incumbent win rate may actually be a result of incumbents being more likely to hold seats in districts that are considered safe for their party.
Marginal primaries: Often, competitiveness is measured by examining the rate of elections that have been won by amounts that are considered marginal (5 percent or less). During the 2014 election, 90.1 percent of primary and general election races were won by margins higher than 5 percent. Interestingly, it is usually the case that only one of the two races—primary or general—will be competitive at a time. This means that if a district’s general election is competitive, typically one or more of the district’s primaries were won by more than 5 percent. The reverse is also true: If a district sees a competitive primary, it is unlikely that the general election for that district will be won by less than 5 percent. Primaries often see very low voter turnout in comparison to general elections. In 2014, there were only 27 million voters for state legislative primaries, but approximately 107 million voters for the state legislative general elections.
The following chart shows how many candidates ran for State House in Pennsylvania in past years and the cumulative amount of campaign contributions in State House races, including contributions in both primary and general election contests. 
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