TagAnalysis

How many races in 2020 had the same candidates in 2018?

In the 2020 general election, 366 elections in Ballotpedia’s coverage scope are rematches between the same candidates who ran for office in 2018.

Rematch elections in 2020 include:

    1. 23 elections for the U.S. House
    2. One state executive election
    3. 339 state legislative elections
    4. Three local races in our coverage scope.

Republicans won 205 of the 2018 races that are now rematches, while Democrats won 159 and third party or nonpartisan candidates won two.

Of the 23 U.S. House rematches, Democrats won 13 and Republicans won 10 in 2018. A Republican won the state executive race in 2018.

Of the 339 state legislative rematches, Republicans won 193, Democrats won 145, and third party candidates won one in 2018.



Did COVID-19 affect the number of candidates who filed for election in 2020?

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, states have changed election dates, voting procedures, and candidate filing deadlines. We took a look at the potential effect these changes had on candidate filing ratios (the number of candidates who filed compared to the number of seats up for election).

We chose the date of comparison as March 13, 2020—the date the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to take a comprehensive approach to fight COVID-19. The data shows that the number of candidates who filed in 2020 and in 2018 is similar.

In 2020, 0.13 more candidates filed for election on or before March 13 than those who filed on or before the same date in 2018.

In 2020, 0.21 more candidates filed for election after March 13 than filed for election after March 13 in 2018.

In 2018, 2,294 candidates filed to run for the U.S. House. For this year’s elections, the number is 2,378. In both years, all 435 U.S. House seats were up for election.

The five states with the largest changes in candidate filing ratios—calculated by dividing the number of candidates who filed for election by the number of seats up for election—(positive or negative) from 2018 to 2020 are:

New Hampshire: -7.00
Utah: +6.25
Hawaii: +4.00
Idaho: -4.00
South Carolina: -3.15

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, 25 states have changed election dates at the state or local level and 40 states have made changes to voting procedures. Nineteen states have made changes to candidate filing deadlines.

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No current U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacancies

Seventeen U.S. Court of Appeals judgeships were vacant when President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. Today, there are no U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacancies. According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, no U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges have announced their intent to leave active judicial status during the remainder of Trump’s current term.

This is the first time there have been no federal appeals court vacancies since at least 1977. Between January 1, 1977, and January 1, 2019, an average of 9.6% of U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judgeships were vacant.

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Ballotpedia study shows that 29 state APAs require administrative agencies to accept oral evidence during adjudicative hearings

A Ballotpedia study of all 50 state constitutions and administrative procedure acts (APAs) showed that 29 state APAs require administrative agencies to accept oral evidence during adjudicative hearings, as of August 2020. Administrative agencies in those states hear oral testimony during hearings like a state court.

Adjudication proceedings include agency determinations outside of the rulemaking process that aim to resolve disputes between either agencies and private parties or between two private parties. The adjudication process results in the issuance of an adjudicative order, which serves to settle the dispute and, in some cases, may set agency policy.

Because state administrative agencies are not part of the judicial branch of government, adjudication proceedings before them do not necessarily afford the same procedural protections as in a courtroom trial. While oral testimony is customary in a courtroom, agencies may not always have to accept oral evidence during adjudication.

Twenty-nine states require agencies to accept oral testimony during hearings. Ballotpedia concluded, therefore, that those states require acceptance of oral evidence.

When states listed exceptions to a general rule that agencies should accept oral testimony during hearings, Ballotpedia concluded, therefore, that they sometimes require acceptance of oral evidence. Seven states have provisions like this.

When states allowed administrative agencies to accept either written or oral evidence during hearings, or left whether to accept oral testimony to the discretion of the hearing officer, Ballotpedia concluded, therefore, that they do not require agencies to accept oral evidence. Fourteen states have provisions like this.

To learn more about Ballotpedia’s survey related to procedural rights, see here:

Procedural rights: States that require administrative agencies to accept oral evidence during adjudicative hearings

Want to go further? Learn more about the five pillars of the administrative state here: Administrative state

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August breakdown of state legislative party membership: 52.0% Republicans, 46.8% Democrats

Ballotpedia’s latest analysis of the partisan affiliation of all 7,383 state legislators in the United States shows 46.8% of state legislators are Democrats and 52.0% are Republicans. The partisan composition of state legislators stayed consistent as compared with July 2020.

Every month, Ballotpedia analyzes the partisan composition of state legislatures—1,972 state Senate seats and 5,411 state House seats. In August, Democrats and Republicans each lost one seat. Vacancies increased by one seat.

As of August 2020, the Democratic Party holds 875 state Senate seats nationwide and the Republican Party holds 1,081. In state Houses, Democrats hold 2,579 districts to Republicans’ 2,758. There are currently 56 vacant seats and 34 that are held by independent and third-party officials.

At the time of the 2018 elections, 7,280 state legislators were affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties. There were 3,257 Democratic state legislators, 4,023 Republican state legislators, 35 independent or third-party state legislators, and 68 vacancies.


Ballotpedia study shows that no states provide for juries to participate in agency adjudication hearings

A Ballotpedia survey of all 50 state constitutions and administrative procedure acts (APAs) revealed that no state constitutions or APAs provide for juries to participate in agency adjudication hearings, as of August 2020. Thus, hearing officers or other agency officials preside over and decide the outcome of adjudications instead of people from the community.

Adjudication proceedings include agency determinations outside of the rulemaking process that aim to resolve disputes between either agencies and private parties or between two private parties. The adjudication process results in the issuance of an adjudicative order, which serves to settle the dispute and, in some cases, may set agency policy.

Because state administrative agencies are unlike traditional state courts, the same rules do not always apply. The absence of jury participation is a way agency adjudication differs from the traditional judicial process that state courts follow.

Understanding adjudication procedures provides insight into due process procedural rights of citizens at the state level. Procedural rights is one of the five pillars key to understanding the main areas of debate about the nature and scope of the administrative state.

To learn more about Ballotpedia’s survey related to procedural rights, see here:

Procedural rights: States that provide for juries to participate in agency adjudication hearings

Want to go further? Learn more about the five pillars of the administrative state here: Administrative state

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Congressional retirements by month, 2011-2020 — a Ballotpedia analysis

Between 2011 and July 2020, Ballotpedia tracked 243 retirement announcements from members of the U.S. House and Senate. January saw the highest number of retirement announcements of any month at 45—31 during even-number years and 14 during odd-number years, when no regular congressional elections are held.

February and November had the second-highest total announcements at 27 each. Sixteen February announcements occurred during an election year and 11 during an off year. Most November announcements—24—took place during off years. The three November election year announcements were for the following election cycle.

The fewest retirements—eight—were announced in June. Six of those occurred during odd-number years. August and October saw the second-fewest announcements at 11 each. All of those except for one announcement occurred during off years.

As of August 26, 41 members of Congress—four U.S. senators and 37 U.S. representatives—are not running for re-election in 2020 (not including incumbents who resigned or otherwise left office early). In 2018, 55 members didn’t seek re-election. Forty-five members retired in 2016. In 2014, 48 members retired. And in 2012, 50 members retired.

See our analysis for numbers of announcements by month and year, as well as a data table that includes each officeholder who announced a retirement, their party, the announcement date, and more.


Ballotpedia study shows that 46 states allow administrative agencies to choose whether to follow formal adjudication procedures

A Ballotpedia study of all 50 state constitutions and administrative procedure acts (APAs) showed that 46 state constitutions or APAs allow administrative agencies to choose whether to follow formal adjudication procedures in administrative hearings, as of August 2020. Those states allow administrative agencies to settle these cases informally with fewer procedural safeguards than the formal adjudication process provides.

Adjudication proceedings include agency determinations outside of the rulemaking process that aim to resolve disputes between either agencies and private parties or between two private parties. The adjudication process results in the issuance of an adjudicative order, which serves to settle the dispute and, in some cases, may set agency policy.

Formal adjudication procedures approximate those of a traditional state court and include trial-like, adversarial hearings with witnesses, a written record, and a final decision made by a neutral presiding officer. Informal adjudication procedures vary but do not necessarily require a hearing with oral testimony, cross-examination of witnesses, or a verbatim stenographic record.

Most states allowed the agencies and accused parties to decide whether to go through a formal adjudication or to reach an informal settlement. Ballotpedia concluded, therefore, that those states do not require formal adjudication.

When states listed exceptions to a general rule that agencies should follow formal adjudication procedures, Ballotpedia concluded, therefore, that they sometimes require formal adjudication.

Understanding adjudication procedures provides insight into the due process and procedural rights of citizens at the state level. Procedural rights is one of the five pillars key to understanding the main areas of debate about the nature and scope of the administrative state.

To learn more about Ballotpedia’s survey related to procedural rights, see here:

Procedural rights: States that require agencies to follow formal adjudication procedures in administrative hearings

Want to go further? Learn more about the five pillars of the administrative state here: Administrative state

Additional reading:


Ballotpedia study shows that every state allows administrative agencies to impose monetary penalties without a court order

A Ballotpedia survey of all 50 states showed that no state constitutions or Administrative Procedure Acts (APAs), as of May 2020, require administrative agencies to get a court order before imposing monetary penalties as a result of adjudication proceedings. Those state constitutions and APAs let agencies impose penalties without involving the judicial branch of the state government.

Adjudication proceedings include agency determinations outside of the rulemaking process that aim to resolve disputes between either agencies and private parties or between two private parties. The adjudication process results in the issuance of an adjudicative order, which serves to settle the dispute and, in some cases, may set agency policy.

Understanding limits on agencies’ ability to impose monetary penalties provides insight into procedural rights at the state level. Procedural rights is one of the five pillars key to understanding the main areas of debate about the nature and scope of the administrative state.

To learn more about Ballotpedia’s survey related to procedural rights, see here: Procedural rights: States that allow agencies to impose monetary penalties without a court order

Want to go further? Learn more about the five pillars of the administrative state here: Administrative state

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97% of state legislative incumbents have so far advanced past primaries, on track with recent cycles

The final primary of the the 2020 election cycle takes place in Delaware on September 15. So far in 2020, 97.3% of state legislators seeking re-election have advanced from their primaries, putting 2020 on track to mirror turnover rates recorded in 2018 and 2016.

Eighty-six of the nation’s state legislative chambers in 44 states are holding regularly-scheduled elections in 2020. In the 33 states where we have final results from state legislative primaries, 3,140 incumbents filed for re-election. Of that number, 84 incumbents lost their primary.

Here’s how that figure compares to the last two even-numbered years:
  1. In 2018, 147 incumbents lost in primaries out of the 4,952 state legislators that filed for re-election. This means that 97.0% of incumbents seeking re-election advanced from the primary.
  2. In 2016, 123 incumbents lost in primaries of the 4,895 state legislators seeking re-election. This means that 97.5% of incumbents advanced from the primary.

The 84 incumbents who have lost so far in 2020 include 59 Republicans and 25 Democrats. The states with the most incumbents that were defeated in the primary are Kansas and West Virginia—with 10 each. In both states, all 10 defeated incumbents were Republicans.

Looking at just the 33 states where we have final results from state legislative primaries, here is a breakdown of 2020 as compared with 2016 and 2018:

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