Part 2 – Analysis of statewide major party candidates on the primary ballot

Welcome to the Thursday, September 15, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Part 2 – Analysis of major party candidates on the primary ballot
  2. Sept. 13 primary election results 
  3. Organized labor amendment on the ballot in Illinois becomes the state’s 12th ballot measure since 1995

Part 2 – Analysis of major party candidates on the primary ballot

Yesterday, we kicked off our analysis of the numbers behind this year’s primary season with a look at major party congressional candidates. We found that more Republicans are running for Congress this year than in either 2020 or 2018, and that Republicans make up a larger percentage of major party congressional candidates than in either year.  

Like the story that played out this year in congressional primaries, we found that the proportion of candidates running as Republicans in state executive and state legislative primaries has increased while the proportion running as Democrats has decreased. The percentage of Democratic candidates running for state executive offices has fallen from 49% in 2018 to 40.6% in 2022, a decline of 17%. The percentage of Republican candidates running for state executive offices, on the other hand, increased from 51% in 2018 to 59.4% today, an increase of 16%. Similarly, the percentage of Democrats running in state legislative primaries has fallen since 2018, while the reverse is true for Republican state legislative candidates. 

Since 2018, the number of Republican state executive and state legislative candidates has increased while the number of Democratic candidates has decreased. 

State executive offices

This year, 1,140 major party candidates were on the primary ballot for 304 state executive offices—including 36 gubernatorial offices, 30 lieutenant gubernatorial offices, 30 attorney general offices, and 26 secretary of state offices. 

Of the major party candidates on the ballot, 463, or 40.6%, were Democrats, and 677, or 59.4%, were Republicans.

Since 2018, the percentage of Democrats among major party state executive candidates has fallen. In 2020, 46.3% of major party state executive candidates were Democrats. In 2018, that percentage was 49.0%. On the other hand, the percentage of Republican major party state executive candidates has increased since 2018. In 2020, that percentage was 53.8%. And in 2018, it was 51.0%. 

The number of candidates per state executive office tells a similar story. An average of 1.69 Republicans filed to run per state executive office in 2020 and 2018. In 2022, however, 2.23 Republican candidates filed to run per state executive office—a 32% increase! For Democrats, the number of candidates on the ballot per state executive office this year was higher than in 2020 but lower than in 2018. 

State legislative primaries

This year, 13,491 major party candidates were on the primary ballot for 6,278 state legislative seats around the country. Of those candidates, 6,063, or 44.9%, were Democrats, and 7,428, or 55.1%, were Republicans.

There were 2,824 major party state senate candidates, and 44.4% were Democrats, while 55.6% were Republicans. Since 2018, the percentage of Republican state senate candidates has increased, while the percentage of Democratic state senate candidates has decreased. 

In state house races, there were 10,667 major party candidates on the primary ballot this year, and 45.1% were Democrats while 54.9% were Republicans. Once again, the percentage of Republicans running for state house districts has increased since 2018, while the percentage of Democrats running in those races has decreased. 

State judicial seats

This year, there were 88 state judicial positions up for partisan election. This includes seats on state supreme courts, intermediate appellate courts, and other state courts. In most states, judges do not run in partisan elections. For example, state supreme court candidates run in partisan elections in only eight states. Click here to learn more about state judicial selection methods.

One-hundred sixty major party candidates were on the primary ballot for those 88 positions, including 72 Democrats, or 45% of all major party candidates who ran, and 88 Republicans, or 55% of all major party candidates who ran.

The percentage of major party state judicial candidates this year who ran as Democrats was lower than in 2020 but higher than in 2018. The percentage of major party candidates who ran as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020 but lower than in 2018. 

This year, there were 0.82 Democratic candidates on the ballot per state judicial seat and one Republican candidate on the ballot per state judicial seat.

You can read more about the number of Democratic and Republican candidates on the ballot for federal and state offices at the link below. 

Keep reading

Sept. 13 primary election results 

On Sept. 13, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire held primaries, effectively closing out a primary season that began all the way back in March (Louisiana is the only state that has yet to hold primaries, and it will do so on Nov. 8). Let’s take a look at some of the key races. 

Rhode Island

In the Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial primary, incumbent Dan McKee defeated Helena Foulkes, Nellie Gorbea, Matt Brown, and Luis Daniel Muñoz. McKee won  32.8% of the vote to Foulkes’ 30.1%. McKee, Gorbea, and Foulkes had led in polling and endorsements. The Rhode Island Democratic Party endorsed McKee. Former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Jorge Elorza, the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, endorsed Foulkes. 

New Hampshire

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) defeated Paul Krautmann and John Riggieri in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Hassan was elected in 2016. On the Republican side, Don Bolduc leads Chuck Morse and 10 other candidates. At the time of this writing, the race had not been called, but Morse conceded the race to Bolduc Wednesday morning. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) endorsed Morse. Former President Donald Trump (R) did not make an endorsement in the race, but said Bolduc was a “strong guy, tough guy.” Election forecasters  consider the general election Lean Democratic or Tilt Democratic. 

State legislative primaries—big picture

Since the primaries began in earnest, we’ve tracked how many state legislative incumbents have lost. With the conclusion of this year’s primary election cycle, 216 state legislative incumbents—63 Democrats and 153 Republicans—lost to primary challengers, representing 4.5% of incumbents running for re-election.

In New Hampshire’s Sept. 13 elections, seven incumbents lost—two Democrats and five Republicans. 

These numbers will likely change. There are 12 Democratic and 24 Republican primaries featuring incumbents across these three states that remain uncalled in addition to three uncalled Democratic primaries with incumbents on the ballot in states that held elections earlier this year.

This year, Republican incumbents have lost at a higher rate than Democrats. Overall, 6% of Republican incumbents who filed for re-election lost. Only 2.8% of Democratic incumbents have lost. 

Click below to see all Sept. 13 election results. 

Keep reading 

Organized labor amendment on the ballot in Illinois becomes the state’s 12th ballot measure since 1995

Today is the 13th day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Illinois, the Prairie State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota

Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana

Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico

On the ballot in Illinois

Illinois voters will elect one member to the U.S. Senate and 17 members to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Six state executive offices are on the ballot this year: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and comptroller.

All 59 seats in the Illinois Senate and all 118 seats in the Illinois House of Representatives are up for election this year.

Three seats on the Illinois Supreme Court are up for election. Two of the elections are partisan, contested elections, while the third is a retention election. Fourteen seats across the five districts of the Illinois Appellate Court are up for election this year.

Voters in Cook County will vote for 56 officials. The offices on the ballot are: county assessor, board of commissioners president, county clerk, county sheriff, county treasurer, three members of the board of review, 17 members of the county commission, four members of the water reclamation district, and 27 seats on the circuit court.

Redistricting highlights

Illinois lost one congressional district after the 2020 census, going from 18 in 2020 to 17 this year. 

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Illinois:  

To use our tool to view Illinois’ state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Illinois redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Both of Illinois’ U.S. Senators—Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin—are Democrats.
  • Illinois’ U.S. House delegation consists of 13 Democrats and five Republicans.
  • Democrats hold a 41-18 majority in the state Senate and a 73-45 majority in the state House. Because the governor is a Democrat, Illinois is one of 14 Democratic trifectas. It has held this status since 2019.
  • Illinois has had a Democratic governor since 2019. Its last Republican governor was Bruce Rauner.
  • Along with the governor, the secretary of state and attorney general are also Democrats, making the state one of 18 with a Democratic triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 102 state legislative seats in Illinois, or 58% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs in a state legislative district, that candidate is all but guaranteed to win the district.

Democrats are running in 72% of all state legislative races. Forty-nine state legislative seats (28% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.

Republicans are running in 70% of all state legislative races. Fifty-three seats (30% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to be won by a Democrat.

Key races

  • U.S. House, Illinois District 17: Eric Sorensen (D) and Esther Joy King (R) are running in the general election. The current incumbent, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D), did not seek re-election. Bustos defeated King 52% to 48% in the 2020 general election. Three independent election forecasters rate the race Toss-up.
  • Governor of Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), first elected in 2018, is running for re-election. He faces state Rep. Darren Bailey (R) in the general election. Three independent election forecasters rate the race Solid Democratic or Safe Democratic. Pritzker won his first term by 15.7%.

Ballot measures

One measure will be on the ballot this year:

  • Amendment 1: Would create a state constitutional right for employees to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their choosing to negotiate “wages, hours, and working conditions and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.”

Between 1995 and 2020, 11 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots. Eight (72.7%) ballot measures were approved, and three (27.3%) ballot measures were defeated. 

Voting

  • Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
  • Illinois generally does not require identification to vote. To read about the specific case where voter identification may be required, click here.
  • Early voting sites open on Sept. 29 and close on Nov. 7.
  • The voter registration deadline is Oct. 11. Registration can be done in-person, by-mail, or online, with mailed forms received by the deadline.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

Keep reading




About the author

Samuel Wonacott

Samuel Wonacott is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.