By Geoff Pallay
MADISON, Wisconsin: On July 26, 2012, Ballotpedia released an analysis of the rate at which incumbents are being defeated by challengers in state legislative primaries. That study was conducted roughly halfway through the primary season, and found that 76 incumbents had been defeated through the first 48 percent of primaries. After each primary, we will update those figures. This update focuses on Tennessee, where a total of eight incumbents fell to opponents on August 2, 2012. The total incumbents defeated in 2012 — 99 — has now eclipsed the 2010 total of 95 incumbents.
A total of 104 Tennessee legislative incumbents filed for re-election. Thirty-seven incumbents faced a primary, and opponents were victorious in eight of those races. Thus, 21.62 percent of opposed incumbents were defeated by their primary challenger.
There are still five races involving an incumbent that are too close to call. Provisional and military ballots are still being tallied — thus, the total number of incumbents defeated in Tennessee could still increase.
The eight total incumbents who lost last night brought the nationwide figure to 99 defeated in 2012 primaries. Incumbents have been defeated in 16.50 percent of the primaries where they faced an actual opponent.
Of the 91 incumbents that have lost a primary in 2012, 31 are Democratic incumbents and 68 are Republican incumbents.
Cumulative table of results
|Individual State Results||Nationwide Cumulative Results|
|State||Primary date||Total Incumbents Running||Total Incumbents Facing Primary||Total Incumbents Defeated||% Incumbents Defeated***||Total Incumbents Defeated||Total Incumbents Facing primary||% Incumbents Defeated***|
|***Note: The percent is calculated by dividing the total number of incumbents who lost by the number of incumbents who actually faced a primary. It is not using the total number of incumbents who ran for re-election.+++There are still 5 races with incumbents that are too close to call from the Tennessee Primary.|