Talk:United States House of Representatives elections, 2012

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Proposal for Candidates list[edit]

As the 2012 election gets closer, it would make sense to keep a list of all the candidates who have filed officially with the FEC across the country. (talk) 05:39, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Results Map Change[edit]

Can someone please change the color scheme in the election results map back to how it was during the 2006-2010 elections? I think it looks better the other way and it is consistent with previous election result maps. Thank you! Mailman903 (talk) 20:14, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for Race Ratings table[edit]

Though the 2012 elections for the House of Representatives is still two years away from now, I think now might be a good time to address issues regarding how the Race Ratings table should be created in regard to redistricting and reapportionment. If two incumbents of the same party are drawn into a single district, I believe that the color in the incumbent space should be colored as that of the incumbents, but should be classified as "(open)" (see EX-1 in chart below). If two incumbents of two differing parties run against each other in the same district or there is a race in a new district where no incumbent is running, then I believe it should be uncolored and classified as "(open)" (EX-2). If an incumbent runs in a district numbered differently than the one he or she currently represents, then I believe that the incumbent's name, party and color should be placed in the incumbent column, but should be placed in the row of the newly numbered district he or she is running in (EX-3). I have created an example chart below in case if anyone did not understand what I have typed above. What do you think of my proposal? Fuelsaver (talk) 19:47, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

District Incumbent Cook Rothenberg CQ Politics Crystal Ball RealClear
EX-1 (Open)
EX-2 (Open)
EX-3 Smith (R)
Great idea, I support it.--JayJasper (talk) 19:16, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think seats where two incumbents of the same party are duking it out in a primary should list those incumbents names, until one of them actually wins. I also would suggest labeling genuinely brand-new seats like SC-07 as "NEW" rather than "open," because the word "open" already means something in electoral context—a seat where an incumbent isn't seeking re-election. The brand-new seats are different in character in that regard. DavidNYC (talk) 18:56, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

New Ratings for 2012 elections already?[edit]

Eventhough though the new districts for the 2012-2020 elections haven't been drawn yet, the Cook Political Report has already made ratings for the upcoming cycle. Should a Table section be created now or should it be delayed until the districts have been finalized? I have already created a chart should everyone decide to include it in the article now. Cells that are blank indicate that there is currently no rating for that particular race yet. Also, where it states "(Open)" indicates new seats to be created for states as a result of the 2010 census. So what are your thoughts? Fuelsaver (talk) 22:09, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I think it would best to wait until either the districts have been finalized, or until more than one reputable source makes ratings available. Whichever comes first.--JayJasper (talk) 22:32, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your input JayJasper regarding this question and the prior one. Until either of those requirements are met, I will continue to update the chart.Fuelsaver (talk) 01:07, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
New district lines have been finalized in every state but Kansas (see here). And at least six prognosticators have issued ratings: Cook, Rothenberg, The Hill, Sabato, Roll Call, and Daily Kos Elections. (I am the editor of the last site on that list.) Roll Call unfortunately hasn't gathered its ratings in one place (though they should eventually appear here); rather, they are spread across a series of regional articles: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain, New England, New York, Plains, South, Southwest, and West. DavidNYC (talk) 04:12, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
District Incumbent Cook[1] Rothenberg[2] Roll Call [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] Crystal Ball[12]
AZ-1 (Open) Tossup Leans D Tossup Leans D
AZ-2 (Open) Tossup Pure Tossup Tossup Tossup
AZ-9 (Open) Lean D Safe D Tossup Leans D
AR-1 Crawford (R) Likely R Safe R Leans R Likely R
AR-4 (Ross) (D) Likely R Safe R Likely R Likely R
CA-3 Garamendi (D) Lean D Leans D Leans D Likely D
CA-7 Lungren (R) Tossup Pure Tossup Tossup Tossup
CA-9 McNerney (D) Lean D D Favored Leans D Leans D
CA-10 Denham (R) Lean R Leans R Leans R Leans R
CA-16 Costa (D) Likely D Safe D Likely D Likely D
CA-21 (Open) Lean R Leans R Tossup Leans R
CA-24 Capps (D) Likely D Leans D Leans D Leans D
CA-26 (Gallegly) (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Tossup
CA-31 G. Miller (R) Tossup Leans D Tossup Leans D
CA-36 Bono Mack (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Likely R
CA-41 (Open) Lean D D Favored Leans D Leans D
CA-47 (Open) Likely D D Favored Leans D Leans D
CA-52 Bilbray (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Tossup
CO-3 Tipton (R) Lean R Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Leans R
CO-6 Coffman (R) Tossup Pure Tossup Leans R Leans R
CO-7 Perlmutter (D) Safe D Safe D Likely D Safe D
CT-5 (C. Murphy) (D) Likely D D Favored Likely D Likely D
FL-2 Southerland (R) Likely R Leans R Leans R Likely R
FL-9 (Open) Tossup Leans D Likely D Leans D
FL-10 Webster (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Likely R
FL-13 Young (R) Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R
FL-16 Buchanan (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Likely R
FL-18 West (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Leans R Leans R
FL-22 (Open) Tossup Leans D Leans D Leans D
FL-26 Rivera (R) Lean R Leans R Leans R Leans R
GA-12 Barrow (D) Lean R Leans R Tossup Leans R
HI-1 Hanabusa (D) Safe D Safe D Likely D Safe D
IL-8 Walsh (R) Likely D D Favored Likely D Likely D
IL-10 Dold (R) Lean D Leans D Leans D Leans D
IL-11 Biggert (R) Tossup Pure Tossup Tossup Leans D
IL-12 (Costello) (D) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Leans D Tossup
IL-13 (T. Johnson) (R) Lean R Tossup/Tilts R Leans R Leans R
IL-17 Schilling (R) Tossup Leans D Leans D Leans D
IN-2 (Donnelly) (D) Lean R R Favored Leans R Leans R
IN-8 Bucshon (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Likely R
IA-1 Braley (D) Likely D Safe D Safe D Likely D
IA-2 Loebsack (D) Likely D Safe D Likely D Likely D
IA-3 Boswell (D)/Latham (R) Tossup Pure Tossup Leans R Leans R
IA-4 King (R) Lean R Leans R Leans R Leans R
KY-6 Chandler (D) Likely D D Favored Leans D Leans D
ME-2 Michaud (D) Likely D D Favored Likely D Likely D
MD-6 Bartlett (R) Likely D D Favored Leans D Leans D
MA-6 Tierney (D) Lean D Leans D Leans D Leans D
MI-1 Benishek (R) Lean R Leans R Leans R Leans R
MI-3 Amash (R) Likely R Safe R Safe R Likely R
MI-7 Walberg (R) Likely R Safe R Likely R Likely R
MI-11 (McCotter) (R) Likely R Tossup/Tilts R Safe R Likely R
MN-1 Walz (D) Solid D Safe D Likely D Likely D
MN-2 Kline (R) Likely R Safe R Likely R Likely R
MN-3 Paulsen (R) Solid R Safe R Safe R Likely R
MN-7 Peterson (D) Solid D Safe D Likely D Likely D
MN-8 Cravaack (R) Tossup Pure Tossup Tossup Tossup
MT-AL (Rehberg) (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Leans R
NV-3 Heck (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Tossup
NV-4 (Open) Likely D Leans D Safe D Likely D
NH-1 Guinta (R) Lean R Leans R N/A Tossup
NH-2 Bass (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts D N/A Tossup
NJ-3 Runyan (R) Lean R Leans R Leans R Likely R
NJ-5 Garrett (R) Likely R Safe R Likely R Safe R
NM-1 (Heinrich) (D) Likely D Safe D Likely D Likely D
NY-1 Bishop (D) Lean D Pure Tossup Leans D Leans D
NY-11 Grimm (R) Lean R Tossup/Tilts R Likely R Likely R
NY-17 Lowey (D) Solid D Safe D Likely D Safe D
NY-18 Hayworth (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Tossup
NY-19 Gibson (R) Tossup Pure Tossup Tossup Leans R
NY-21 Owens (D) Lean D Pure Tossup Tossup Leans D
NY-22 Hanna (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Leans R
NY-23 Reed (R) Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R
NY-24 Buerkle (R) Lean D Tossup/Tilts D Tossup Leans D
NY-25 Slaughter (D) Lean D D Favored Leans D Leans D
NY-27 Hochul (D) Tossup Pure Tossup Tossup Leans R
NC-7 McIntyre (D) Tossup Leans R Leans R Leans R
NC-8 Kissell (D) Lean R R Favored Likely R Leans R
NC-11 (Shuler) (D) Likely R R Favored Likely R Likely R
NC-13 (B. Miller) (D) Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R
ND-AL (Berg) (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Likely R
OH-6 B. Johnson (R) Lean R Leans R Leans Leans R
OH-7 Gibbs (R) Likely R Leans R Likely R Likely R
OH-16 Sutton (D)/Renacci (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Tossup
OK-2 (Boren) (D) Lean R R Favored Leans R Leans R
PA-6 Gerlach (R) Likely R R Favored Likely R Likely R
PA-7 Meehan (R) Likely R Safe R Likely R Likely R
PA-8 Fitzpatrick (R) Lean R Tossup/Tilts R Leans R Leans R
PA-12 (Altmire) (D)/Critz (D) Tossup Pure Tossup Tossup Tossup
PA-18 T. Murphy (R) Likely R Safe R Likely R Safe R
RI-1 Cicilline (D) Tossup Tossup/Tilts D Tossup Tossup
SC-7 (Open) Likely R Safe R Likely R Safe R
TX-14 (Paul) (R) Likely R Safe R Likely R Safe R
TX-23 Canseco (R) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Tossup
UT-4 Matheson (D) Tossup Tossup/Tilts R Tossup Tossup
VA-2 Rigell (R) Likely R Leans R Leans R Likely R
VA-11 Connolly (D) Solid D Safe D Safe D Likely D
WA-1 (Open) Lean D Tossup/Tilts D Tossup Leans D
WA-6 (Dicks) (D) Likely D Safe D Likely D Safe D
WA-10 (Open) Likely D Safe D Likely D Likely D
WV-3 Rahall (D) Likely D Safe D Likely D Likely D
WI-7 Duffy (R) Lean R Leans R Leans R Leans R
WI-8 Ribble (R) Lean R R Favored Leans R Leans R


Why format the losing incumbents in '''bold'''?—GoldRingChip 15:40, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

  • It indicates like the 2010 House elections which incumbent, who were first elected before 2000, lost re-election in a primary or general election.--Jerzeykydd (talk) 03:27, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Why are they distinct from incumbents who didn't serve as long? What's the point?—GoldRingChip 11:26, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

at-large districts in tables[edit]

I am not familiar enough with the table formats to make them link to at-large district pages. For Alaska it doesn't matter because using "1" for the congressional district redirects to the at large district. Montana doesn't do this though, so it needs to be corrected by someone who knows how. Rxguy (talk) 04:46, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Link to states' Rep races[edit]

Please use the links to earlier elections that go to the individual states' election. It will then redirect to the general national election.

The problem is that they don't all redirect and adding #Massachusetts takes the page directly to that state's results. Isn't that better than simply linking the the general election? Rxguy (talk) 16:45, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Also, if you look at pages like United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania, 2004 or United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio, 2006 you'll see that they are useless stubs just taking up space so there is no redirect. With less than half of the state's tables up I'm just wondering how many more pages are like that. I thought it would be more convenient to link #State so that the results come right up, which is what anyone clicking on those links would be looking for. Rxguy (talk) 16:56, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
It's better to link to a redirect than to bypass it. If the redirect ever gets replaced by a real article, then the editors will have to go back and change these links. That's why we use redirects. And there's no such thing as a "useless stub:" It's just an article waiting to be expanded. :) —GoldRingChip 17:02, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Can you please explain why you need to list every single previous election year? We know elections are held every other year, there is no need to repeatedly link to every election since the incumbent's first. This is just silly, also because most of those before 2006 are redirects to the national article. Talk about clutter, the year elected is enough. Reywas92Talk 13:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree, it's a little excessive. Rxguy (talk) 14:16, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, it was an idea I had. But I wasn't sure if it was a good idea. So… I'll revert it.—GoldRingChip 14:46, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Time to start including race ratings?[edit]

New district lines have been finalized in every state but Kansas (see here). And at least six prognosticators have issued ratings: Cook, Rothenberg, The Hill, Sabato, Roll Call, and Daily Kos Elections. (I am the editor of the last site on that list. In case that makes me look as though I have a dog in this fight, I'll just say that I have no intention of editing the article. I just think having the ratings table is a good resource, whether or not Daily Kos ratings are included.) Roll Call unfortunately hasn't gathered its ratings in one place (though they should eventually appear here); rather, they are spread across a series of regional articles: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain, New England, New York, Plains, South, Southwest, and West. DavidNYC (talk) 23:40, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

I think including them would be a good idea, I'm just not sure how they are usually represented in the House races (I edit the Senate and Governor races mostly). No offense to you or the Daily Kos, but since that site is a liberal source, I don't think it should be included as that opens the door to including race ratings from any politically motivated group. From what I've seen editors try to stay mostly with unbiased sources. Rxguy (talk) 04:28, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure if ratings add much to an encyclopedia article; they're more suited for news & politics sites. If, however, we choose to add ratings, it's important not to add just the latest ratings; all past & present ratings should be included because this is a historical article.GoldRingChip 10:37, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
No offense taken, though FWIW, if you compare our ratings to Cook or Rothenberg, say, you'll see they are actually less favorable toward Democrats than those of the "non-partisan" prognosticators. But I understand about not wanting to open the door. (Though I'll note that Wikipedia has generally included ratings from RealClearPolitics, even though RCP's founders describe themselves as "conservatives." So using your standard, I'd say it's preferable to leave RCP off.) Anyhow, you can take a look at articles for prior cycles (here's 2010) to see how things have been arranged. Looks pretty straightforward to me, but as I said, I don't want to start editing this article myself. DavidNYC (talk) 18:01, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Map of Nationwide Congressional Districts[edit]

I think it is time to add the map of the congressional districts around the United States under the pictures of Boehner and Pelsoi, such as this one: File:US Congressional districts.svg Has anyone created the updated one with the 2012 lines? NBA2020 (talk) 19:30, 31 May 2012 (UTC)


I generally like redlinks, but I think putting all top-two finishers in, say, California in redlinks is premature because a congressional primary win alone is not sufficient for WP:GNG or WP:POLITICIAN and those who are notable officeholders already have articles. Hekerui (talk) 18:24, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Predictions - keep the old for historical purposes[edit]

Shouldn't we be retaining the old predictions as well as the new ones? Otherwise, this becomes less of an encyclopedia, and more like a news website or political website. We need to keep old figures for historical purposes. It will be strange after the elections when just the predictions, which will be almost all correct by then, are left. See, for example, {{Historical article}}.—GoldRingChip 15:00, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Although it's not exactly the same, that is too much like WP:NOTCHANGELOG. We have four different predictors rating about 105 elections. That seems super excessive to me to keep every edition of the ratings. Perhaps it could be included on the state articles about the individual races but not here. An encyclopedia is not a historical catalogue. I would find it strange, both after the elections and now, to see outdated predictions that no longer mean a darn thing. Reywas92Talk 16:57, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Reywas92. I suggest, furthermore, that even the latest predictions are outdated after the election. Frankly, I think predictions do not add much (if anything) to an encyclopedia, but if we must include them, then a one-time snapshot makes no sense.—GoldRingChip 20:25, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

By the way, The Hill has new ratings. DavidNYC (talk) 17:34, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Thaddeus McCotter[edit]

How should we list Representative Thaddeus McCotter. He didn't really "retire" and he wasn't "defeated." He failed to make the nomination ballot because too many signatures were fraudulent. Instead of proceeding as a write-in or something else, he gave up. So what do we call it? I don't think we should create a new section just for him, but I can't figure out how to pigeonhole his race. —GoldRingChip 20:03, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

He did indeed retire. He didn't intend to, and it was sort of forced on him, but he accepted his failure to submit enough signatures and decided to retire.,mod=2&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=thaddeus+mccotter+retire. Thanks, Reywas92Talk 22:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
But isn't that like someone who loses a primary and chooses not to run as an independent? Or not to challenge a vote or ask for a recount? My point is that he didn't intend to retire, but failed to do what was necessary to get on the nomination ballot. Yes, I know it's splitting hairs and subtle, but I'm pretty sure that his retirement was forced on him, not voluntary, and the list of retirements I think is supposed to be folks who choose not to run, NOT the folks who choose to run but fail.00:25, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
I have to agree with Reywas here. He held office and decided not to run again and announced that before the primary - regardless of the minutiae, this qualifies as retirement. Hekerui (talk) 18:41, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Primary battle shading[edit]

Why are primary battles featuring two incumbents in redistricted areas (AZ6, CA31, IL16, so on) being denoted as <party> loss in the table? These are primary elections, no party has yet won or lost the seat; this kind of wording creates the impression that a seat has already changed party hands. Shereth 16:57, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

"By election"[edit]

Shouldn't that be "special election"? –HTD 04:26, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Posting Results[edit]

Can anybody work on posting results in the next day or so, and editors can use this section to work on the logistics of this; maybe splitting up states or something? I wish I could help with this, but I'm extremely busy; but this Wikipedia article is a source that a lot of people might look to for final results of individual races. Academic Challenger (talk) 07:20, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, please. It's already Friday, and searching through the article I couldn't find the simple numbers I was looking for (How many seats each party won, even allowing for incompletes). I'll look elsewhere. (talk) 10:48, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Aha, I went elsewhere ( and found this: According to CNN projections, on Wednesday Republics had 233 seats and Democrats 194, with eight undecided. (talk) 11:03, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Another problem: Results are now posted, but only by percentage. The actual vote numbers should also be on the page. I would like to get the total vote for all candidates by party, for the whole country and also by state, but this is impossible. This seems to be a common problem; the NY Times site has these numbers but not in such a way that they can be used. Would it be possible to post a spreadsheet? Is this in accordance with Wikipedia policy? Jonrysh (talk) 16:14, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Preliminary rapport from OSCE[edit]

The preliminary rapport from OSCE: LIMITED ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION - United States of America – General Elections, 6 November 201.

It is mostly general positive things like: "The 6 November general elections took place in a pluralistic environment and were administered in a professional manner." and "The election campaigns were vibrant and highly competitive." and "Overall, media is pluralistic and diverse and provided voters with a wide range of information and views on candidates, issues, and electoral platforms." and "The overall field of candidates provided voters with a wide degree of choice"

But also comments on voter eligbility: "US citizens who are at least 18 years old on election day and residents of a state were eligible to vote. Some 4.1 million citizens that are residents of US territories were not eligible to vote, while some 600,000 citizens that are residents of the District of Columbia were eligible to vote only for the president. An estimated 5.9 million citizens were disenfranchised due to a criminal conviction, including some 2.6 million citizens who have served their sentences. This is at odds with the principle of universal suffrage and the commitment to ensure proportionality in the restriction of voting rights as enshrined in paragraphs 7.3 and 24 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document."

And alsom comments on voter registration: "Voter registration is implemented at state level through an active system. A number of states launched initiatives to improve the accuracy of their voter lists. Civil society was active in encouraging citizens to register, as well as checking the accuracy of voter registers. Nevertheless an estimated 50 million eligible citizens were not registered to vote, bringing into question the effectiveness of existing measures to ensure that all persons entitled to vote are able to exercise that right."

Read the whole rapport to learn more. Some may be useful in the article Jack Bornholm (talk) 14:52, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

How does this relate to the editing of this article? "may be useful" is unspecific. Hekerui (talk) 23:30, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Results map[edit]

Just noticed that Oklahoma-2 is shown as a republican hold on the map but it's a republican gain. I can't edit .svg files so I'm just putting it out there for someone who can. Rxguy (talk) 02:56, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

The new seat of Georgia-9 needs to show a gain too.Rxguy (talk) 04:13, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Utah-2 also. Rxguy (talk) 05:20, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Majority Popular Vote and Gerrymandering[edit]

Just heard someone on TV say that Democrats one the popular vote on the US House of Representatives, but lost the overall election because of gerrymandering... I thought that sounded interesting, so trying to confirm. Did Democrats LOSE seats in this election, or GAIN seats? They would have needed to win 25 seats in order to regain control, right?JDoolin (talk) 14:47, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Democrats had a net gain, but it's not yet settled as not all races are called.—GoldRingChip 15:58, 10 November 2012 (UTC).—GoldRingChip 15:58, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like you were watching MSNBC's biased "journalism". It's possible to to win more seats but lose the popular vote just like it is possible to win electoral college votes but lose the popular vote because it is a series of individual elections, not one big election. Rxguy (talk) 17:13, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • The previous editor made no mention of one network or another. Please be civil.—GoldRingChip 20:31, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
You're argument disproves nothing he said. When a party wins the popular vote but does not win the most seats, it's fairly strong evidence of gerrymandering. The point of gerrymandering, after all, is specifically to bias those "individual elections" ensure that your position on an overall level is insulated from the popular vote. In an unbiased election, sure, sometimes a party will win a handful more seats than the other even if it narrowly loses the popular vote just by random chance. However, you would not expect a party that got 55% of the vote last election to maintain nearly the same position in a next election when they won just 48%, and less than the other party. That's fairly obviously the result of gerrymandering. (talk) 20:34, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I'll tell you why I was confused; I was thinking that U.S. House of Representatives only came up for election every 6 years, so only a third of the seats were in play. In any case, my question about whether the Democrats "gained or lost seats" is irrelevant.JDoolin (talk) 22:37, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Democrats won the popular vote but did not get control of the House because Republicans gerrymandered the state congressional maps heavily after 2010. It's sad but true. --Ðrdak (T) 03:02, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
OK, you are not understanding. Let me use my state of Pennsylvania as an example. There are 2 democratic strongholds in the state: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which are also the main population centers. Philly breaks down to about 85% D, 15% R while Pitt is roughly a 60/40 split. The rest of the state is much more evenly divided with the east being slightly more democratic and the west being largely republican. If a huge population center like Philly is producing results of 70-80% for one side in their congressional races while the more spread out regions are producing results around 55-60%, then it is going to skew the popular vote. It doesn't really matter how you draw the sparsely populated western districts, the results will always be about the same. Moreover, you can't split these urban congressional districts and try to dilute minority voters with white suburban and rural voters. When states who are under the Voting Rights Act try to do that their maps get rejected for disenfranchising largely minority voting populations. The popular vote and the polling of the generic congressional ballot are worse than useless in congressional elections. Yes, seats can be drawn to favor one side or another. But both sides do this. Look at Illinois and California for example which drew lines to favor democrats. I am going to reword that section of the article to take out the harsh tone. Rxguy (talk) 05:43, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Rxguy, pick another state than California for your argument. First of all, California's post-2010 census districts were redrawn by a citizens commission, for the first time (a commission voted for in a 2008 statewide initiative) - a commission with 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 4 from neither party. Thus the redistricting was not engineered by the party in control of the state government as it was in virtually every other state. Second, in complete opposition to your claim, the resulting redistricting in California pitted existing Congressmembers against one another in 8 districts - 6 of those were Democrats running against each other for the one redefined district, only 2 of those were Republican. Thus the redistricting actually put more Democrats at a disadvantage because 6 incumbent Democrats necessarily had to lose (to another Democratic incumbent) while that was only true for two Republicans. Nevertheless, the overall California delegation expanded its Democratic majority from 34-19 to 38-15. Not due to gerrymandering by a state Democratic administration but by overall shift in aggregate popular vote for Congress.cetaylor 20:12, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Just rechecked the results of PA-1 and PA-2 which are in the heart of Philly and saw they are about 90% for the democratic ticket, which is higher than I thought. But that just further proves my point that urban population centers have the power to skew the popular vote with lopsided races. You don't see races that one-sided in the most republican districts unless the state is in the deep south or democrats failed to put a candidate on the ticket. Rxguy (talk) 06:22, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Rxguy, I don't know what you keep going on about or why, but here is the popular vote vs. the seats taken in pennsylvannia 2012, which is the ONLY thing relevant here : Popular vote %: 50.66% D, 49,34% R. Seats taken: 27.8% (5) D, 72.2% (13) R . Kevin Baastalk 18:16, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, people were making erroneous claims that gerrymandering was the sole reason that reps maintained control and wanted to state that in the article. I offered a more in depth analysis than merely looking at overall numbers. It's just simple math and demographic distributions. Urban population centers are heavily partisan and those results skew the popular vote numbers toward democrats. Again using the PA example, you would need to draw about half a dozen districts with very long skinny tentacles reaching into the heart of Philly in order for them to pick up the democratic votes to flip the seats and have the PA seats be roughly 50/50. That would be gerrymandering, but you can see the same thing in any state with a major US city: cities with very dense, heavily democratic seats with the rest of the state much more spread out and evenly divided. Rxguy (talk) 21:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
So you're saying that democratic areas tend to correlate strongly with dense urban areas and vice versa. Duh. that's a well known statistic. It has nothing to do with gerrymandering, which is exactly what you just described is: gerrymandering. So please stop babbling on about trivial facts that everyone knows and try to focus on the topic at hand, okay? Kevin Baastalk 22:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we understand what you're babbling on about, Rxguy. The fact is that gerrymandering is a very real thing and it happened after Republicans gained many seats in the state legislatures prior to the 2010 United Stats Census. Are you saying this well-known fact is not the reason Republicans maintained control of the House?Ðrdak (T) 20:27, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I also don't approve of Rxguy skewing the lead to make it appear as if gerrymandering wasn't the reason for GOP control after losing the popular vote.Ðrdak (T) 20:27, 15 November 2012 (UTC)


just a preliminary google search...

Kevin Baastalk 15:52, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


Kevin Baastalk 17:02, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Just an FYI, most of those are blogs and partisan sources that do not belong in an encyclopedia quality article. Rxguy (talk) 18:15, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
While you are looking for articles, you can search for democratic gerrymandering that happened this cycle and find cases in Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut to name a few. Even if you are a partisan person, you can at least try to be fair here and recognize that both sides draw favorable districts for themselves. Rxguy (talk) 18:32, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
RxGuy I find everything you've said here offensive. you know I've been a wikipedia member for a long time and that i know what the source policy is. And I know how to do unbiased research, thank you. I did a google search. IF you have a problem with the results, take it up with the internet, not me. Kevin Baastalk 18:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Also I can tell that you did not read the links before replying. I have included ALL gerrymandering this election cycle, because THAT is the FAIR thing to do. And I resent your unsubstantiated accusation of partisanship and unfairness. All you have done here is insult me and you haven't even read the links because if you did you'd know that your claims and insults are wrong. Kevin Baastalk 19:12, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Show the Net Gain[edit]

The "Results summary" table is way too complicated. Make it simple as in the pages about UK elections. Like "seats before election", "unseated", "gained", "net +/-", "Seats after election". Based on notional results after redistricting (Brits compute that at every election so it IS feasible and anyway in the US you have to do that only once per decade) rather than previous election results. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DogTwo (talkcontribs) 07:30, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

The equivalent article on the 2012 Senate election shows the net gain (2) in the first section. This article should as well--after reading through it, I'm still not sure what the Dems net gain was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

  • It's not yet settled, because not all races are called.—GoldRingChip 15:57, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • The House net gain is currently shown in the box on the upper right of the page (Net gain for Dems = 8 seats; Net loss for GOP = 8 seats, thus a 16-seat smaller majority than in the previous Congress. I do agree that this Net gain-loss could be a bit more visible. cetaylor 19:48, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • What I would like to see added -- if somebody is willing to do this -- is to show Net Gain/Loss in a summary statement under each state's delegation results in the bottom section of the page, so that for example under California, just prior to the link to the California 2012 election "main page,' it might say: Democratic seats: 38 (up from 34); Republican seats: 15 (down from 19). cetaylor 19:48, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

There ISN'T any DEM net gain. And what's with this IMMEDIATE EXCUSE making "because of re-districting' after your acknowledgement that republicans continue to DOMINATE the House? Liberal envy, much? (talk) 19:16, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Take your political fight elsewhere, please.—GoldRingChip 20:29, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Gerrymandering is a real thing and it actually happened. Please take your partisan yelling somewhere else. --Ðrdak (T) 03:04, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, both sides drew favorable districts for themselves. It just so happened that more states had republicans in control of the process because of the wave anti-Obama elections of 2010. If the roles were reversed it would have been just as bad in the other direction, there's no denying that. But I guess that just shows how important state legislature elections are. Rxguy (talk) 06:40, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
    • RE: "If the roles were reversed it would have been just as bad in the other direction, there's no denying that." Not only can that be denied, it can be empirically tested. (and if it could not be then ipso fact it wouldn't be falsifiable, so it would be imperative to ignore it) If you cannot provide evidence for claims, please do not make them. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Now please let us get back to the issue of discussing the real matter at hand here, about very real events with very real historical impact. Kevin Baastalk 15:45, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
      • Look at the maps of Maryland congressional districts[1] if you don't think the Democrats did similar gerrymandering. There the Dems controlled the process and the GOP ended up losing a seat. -- (talk) 16:34, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
        • When did I say I don't think the democrats ever gerrymandered? You're fighting a straw man. Kevin Baastalk 16:43, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Rxguy, see my comment to you in above section on gerrymandering for further disproving of your claim here: If the 2010 elections had favored Democrats, there would have been no change in the redistricting in California because it was done by a bipartisan citizens commission (for the first time), not by the state government, thus eliminating the seesawing influence of any one party's control of state government.cetaylor 20:29, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
    • RxGuy, empirical evidence that shows your unsubstantiated conjecture, for which there is, according to you, "no denying", to be false: Kevin Baastalk 17:07, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • It's called math. Kevin Baastalk 16:08, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you even understand what I was saying. I'm not arguing that the redistricting process didn't favor the republicans. I was saying that if the democrats had controlled the process they would have drawn favorable lines for themselves in the same way. There is ample evidence from this cycle and past cycles that democrats do it just as much. So one side complaining that the other side did it is really the perfect example of hypocrisy. Rxguy (talk) 18:39, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Wrong on all counts. Firstly, two wrongs don't make a right. Secondly, I understood exactly what you said, which is why, thirdly, I proved what you said wrong. Kevin Baastalk 18:42, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Slate listed the 20 most gerrymandered districts of the outgoing congress last year.[2] 16 of the 20 districts were drawn to favor Democrats. -- (talk) 05:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
That's not how you measure it. You measure gerrymandering by the Kullback–Leibler_divergence of the seats taken from the aggregate vote. That is the very definition of gerrymandering. And then to test the hypothesis that RxGuy put forth, you look at who controlled the redistricting of each one, and compare the net KL-divergences. Like this: (while they didn't go so far as to calculate the KL-div, and they used the presidential popular vote as a proxy to the house aggregate vote, it's pretty clear who the winner is, given that Dems underperformed in 2/6 of the ones they had control over.) Kevin Baastalk 13:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
The definition of gerrymandering from Merriam-Webster:[3]
"1: to divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible"
"2: to divide (an area) into political units to give special advantages to one group" -- (talk) 15:59, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Exactly. Kevin Baastalk

Jesse Jackson Jr. was re-elected but he has since resigned. The Democrats are left with 200 seats, not 201. The seat is empty until a special election can be held. Should this be reflected in the results? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Bolding for anomaly in election results[edit]

I have to say some people are rather lazy and can't be bother looking while Saying "No previous election result article includes bolding" Complete an utter RUBBISH. Please found some Wiki page of US election results which has BOLDING to help.

ALL those pages have the same thing as in this page, Party with the most vote lost out while the party with less votes won... Bolding shall be added back in by the end of the day--Crazyseiko (talk) 09:54, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Did you have to wait to revert my revert because you had already had your limit for the day? I am going to oppose your edit of November 11, 2012. If you can muster a consensus of editors here that support your change, then you can re-install your edit. Good luck. Mnnlaxer (talk) 21:12, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Even if it is in other articles, they are wrong, too. WP:MOSBOLD. Bolding should only be used in very limited circumstances. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:16, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't believe there are wrong since as you have said the boding is only being used in very limited Circumstance, which in this case is, as its only been used on 4 pages out of 100s created. The Bolding makes it much clearer to the reader/user that anomaly has happened in which a party which more votes lost.--Crazyseiko (talk) 19:42, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
you obviously didnt actually read the manual of style link, because it specifically identifies the rare occasions that may be bolded, and this aint one of them. and in fact "i want to call attention to something" is specifically noted as an unacceptable use of bolding. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:50, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
How DOES Wiki highlight anomaly in election results etc? --Crazyseiko (talk) 23:49, 17 November 2012 (UTC)--Crazyseiko (talk) 23:49, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
There are simple ways of highlighting an anomaly. Before one chooses a method it must be stated to be an anomaly in reliable sources. If so one could use a simple citation to both highlight the anomaly and to cite the reference where it is stated to be an anomaly. It is also valid to state "[name of authority] states [result] to be an anomaly." and to cite this statement. What we may not do is to use the results we report on to make any original research comment on those results. We may not interpret, however tempting it is to do so, nor may we set out numerous sources in such a manner as to synthesise original research. In short our job is as a neutral reporter of cited or citable facts, not as a teller of truth, nor as an interpreter of results. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 22:08, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
One could go further. If there are many such anomalies one may create a reference scheme with group names, and gather all references for anomalies into a notes group for anomalies. I think this is not the place for a treatise on the topic, but I am happy to help you in your on talk page if you think this appropriate. Drop me a note on mine of you feel this would be beneficial. It's a slightly arcane piece of wiki syntax, but easy once you know how, and by no means as hard as table markup! Fiddle Faddle (talk) 22:18, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Leading section second paragraph needs work[edit]

The first sentence in the second paragraph is way too long. To start, I'd like to completely remove the FairVote clause. They may be nonpartisan, but they are certainly an advocacy organization. The citation states "Using its unique methods for analyzing the underlying preferences of voters, FairVote has determined that the Republican Party has a significant structural advantage in U.S. House elections." FairVote's unique methods determine underlying preferences, not votes. Only the number of votes should be compared to the number of seats won by each party.

The last two clauses can be broken off into a new sentence. More importantly, they need citations. They are clearly opinion without citations.Mnnlaxer (talk) 03:03, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Size Split???[edit]

  • Support - Article is over 100 kB, and should be made into a summary starting with splitting out November elections section. Thoughts???
  • Oppose – that length is not too bad; it's basically a list article which is often allowed to run longer than others.—GoldRingChip 01:33, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's a long list, but not too bad. There are things that can be cut and reduced in size. I just cut the "House composition" section, which added nothing. That huge "Results summary" table can be trimmed too. – Muboshgu (talk) 02:01, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Then we would just have one smaller main article that doesn't have all the desired information, and a huge subarticle of results without further information, accomplishing nothing but having two articles. Articles with tables are naturally big, though the predictions section is a bit excessive, with every box having a line for color. Reywas92Talk 04:55, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment - I believe that the main article can have the "Results summary", and the "November elections" section can be divided in four sections (maybe similar to Template:Simon Property Group).--Jax 0677 (talk) 04:31, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is nothing unique about this election. There just happens to be 435 representatives, many having some sort of opponent. I noticed this when I was adding most of the results and opponents that weren't added. We have a big Congress. The people that would go to this article are likely to know that. The article was bound to be pretty detailed.. so was 2010. The user that started this discussion should also start adding signatures.--Xxhopingtearsxx (talk) 22:54, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose the size is determined by the amount of legislators, we are dealing with a big list here, but the size does not impact navigation because the sortment by state is quite clear; and removing parts for individual state articles would make an overview much more of a hassle. Hekerui (talk) 12:10, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Removing Split Tag[edit]

I've tried to remove the tag in the article suggesting the article be split before mid-december. My edit was undone. The tag arguing for a split was early December. The above section clearly shows a consensus that opposes it, with nothing new added since December 8, 2012. I will undo the tag asking that this article be split. If you undo me, you should have a good reason. If nothing has been added since December 8, then it would take many months to have a few additions to the discussion. I've had to remove tags for discussions that ended years ago before. I will reiterate what I said earlier. There are 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives. It's just a fact that an article about an election regarding those seats will be long. The article has been very useful. These types of articles are most likely not usually read from top to bottom. I've used it to quickly search the winner of an election or seat I'm looking up. That's it.--Joey (talk) 19:51, 1 January 2013 (UTC)


The article doesn't inform about the turnout. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:37, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Surface-area map is POV[edit]

The choice to illustrate election results with a conventional surface area map, without an accompanying population-weighted map such as this one [4], is unwittingly POV. It gives an erroneous impression by allowing sparsely populated districts to command a disproportionate area of the map, even though such districts have exactly the same representation as densely-populated districts covering much less surface area. Consequently, such a map overstates the electoral result in favor of a party that tends to win sparsely-populated districts, leaving the article out of compliance with WP:NPOV.

If someone can locate such a map without copyright restrictions, it would be good to add it to restore NPOV. (I hope that consensus would agree that the present map is useful, if presented in the context of other maps to show a more accurate distribution of the vote.)

I'm sure this issue has probably been discussed, somewhere, but surprisingly not here that I could find. - Thanks, PhilipR (talk) 07:48, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

  • I agree. Can anyone find such a map?—GoldRingChip 15:21, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Gerrymandering revisited[edit]

The article notes the undisputed discrepancy between the popular vote (Democrats won overall) and the composition of the new House (Republicans retained their majority). There is, at a minimum, a significant body of opinion holding that the discrepancy was caused in whole or in part by the predominant Republican control of redistricting after the 2010 census, resulting in gerrymandering that produced a net benefit to Republicans. This viewpoint has been wholly scrubbed from the article.

Some information was deleted by this edit. See also numerous sources cited by Kevin Baas above. I'll add this source, which quotes Joe Scarborough -- a former Republican Congressman -- in support of the point: "It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority."

It's ridiculous that the only occurrence of the word "gerrymander" in this article is in the title of one of the sources.

Wikipedia should present all sides fairly. I'm not aware of any respectable POV that says the district lines had no effect on the outcome. There is legitimate dispute about the extent of the effect -- for example, I think the Brennan Center made an estimate of the number of seats swung through gerrymandering and concluded that the Republicans would have held a majority even without it, although with a substantially narrower margin than what they actually have. If there are reliable sources about post-2010 gerrymandering by Democrats, arguing that there was some offset to Republican gerrymandering, that should also be included. Suppressing the entire discussion, however, is not the solution. JamesMLane t c 04:56, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

II seem not lot of people care about this fact, I would suggest you add these details back into the page, and with plenty of sources. --Crazyseiko (talk) 20:52, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
The New York Times has a great article on how gerrymandering affect the 2012 election. According to NYT: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida are district in such a way that causes severe imbalance in favor of Republicans, while Arizona is district in such a way that favor Democrats. [5] [6] Illegal Operation (talk) 16:58, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

The NYtimes article you quote still says that the GOP would have won the House 220 to 215 if electoral re-drawing had been fairer GOP would have still won(Coachtripfan (talk) 19:12, 21 September 2013 (UTC))

  • I agree it is important to explain the reason why the results did not match the popular vote. EllenCT (talk) 21:05, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Gerrymandering vs first-past-the-post[edit]

The Democrats won slighly more votes in the House than the Republicans - yet the Republicans won more seats. It may seem at first glance this is down to "gerrymandering". However, research would indicate that it is mainly due to the first-past-the-post electoral system in single member constituencies. Put simply the Democrats are piling up massive majorities in their urban seats - whereas the Republicans have their vote more evenly spread out. They have more seats but with fewer massive majorities. Democrats more seats with mega majorities but fewer seats. It's the way votes are distributed. Gerrymandering vs winner takes all voting It should be noted that FairVote wants to abolish single member seats in favour of proportional representation in multi-member seats. (Coachtripfan (talk) 19:56, 21 September 2013 (UTC))

First-past-the-post facilitates gerrymandering, so it's not either/or. EllenCT (talk) 21:02, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Fairvote's analysis stops short of saying how the 2012 election would be split under their preferred method, House under "Fair Votes". They have a model assuming a 50-50 split in the public vote. They suggest 48 out of the 435 seats would be "balanced" ie swing seats which could go either way. It is possible to win the public vote but not a majority of the seats under their multi-member seat system.(From their figures I give the Republicans a 231-204 advantage in the House on a 50-50 split). Like single member seats it's how the votes are distributed.

Under the "fair vote" system though particular states and regions would be less dominated by a particular party as they are under first-past-the-post but the overall result by not be much different.

In short, keeping single member constituencies but having impartial boundary reviews may be fairer for the over-all result than going down the route of multi-member seats. (Coachtripfan (talk) 14:26, 22 September 2013 (UTC))

I changed 1.7 million in the second paragraph to 1.6 million[edit]

I got a different figure when I did the math.

Using figures from the next-to-the-last page in the referenced pdf file from Haas, Karen L:

59,214,910 votes were cast for Democratic candidates and 57,622,827 votes were cast for Republican candidates.

59,214,910 - 57,622,827 = 1,592,083

1,592,083 more Democratic votes rounds off to 1.6 million.

The percentage is correct, though:

59,214,910 + 57,622,827 = 116,837,737

1,592,083 / 116,837,737 = 0.013626445 which rounds off to 1.4%

Becalmed (talk) 07:12, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

The 1.6 million comes from doing the math on a different source than the source that yielded the 1.7 million figure. The 1.6 million is from the February 28, 2013 report of Karen L. Haas, the clerk of the House of Representative (citation number 6 in the current version). The 1.7 million figure comes from the July 2013 report of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which is citation number 5 in the current version of the article. The math there is 60,252,696 - 58,541,130 = 1,711,566. I'm inclined to lend more credence to the FEC source (the 1.7 million). It's more recent and it includes more votes, which suggests Haas's figures might be incomplete. Can anyone find confirming why the discrepancy between the sources exists? --JamesAM (talk) 21:22, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Seats of Representatives that retired[edit]

I modified the section regarding Representatives that retired by adding a third category to the existing "seat held" and "Republican/Democrat gain": Seat Eliminated by Redistricting. When John Olver (D-MA-01) retired, his seat wasn't "gained" by Democrats even though the new MA-01 was won by Democrat Richard Neal (erstwhile incumbent in MA-02); Olver's district was eliminated in redistricting and Neal's new district (which included quite a bit of Olver's old district) was renumbered as the MA-01. Given that MA had 10 districts (all 10 held by Democrats) prior to the 2012 elections and 9 districts (all 9 held by Democrats) following the 2012 elections, one really can't say that the Democrats "held" al 10 districts; one was eliminated by redistricting. The same holds true for the districts formerly held by retired Democrat Maurice Hinchey and retired Republicans David Dreier, Bob Turner and Steve Austria.

I also included as each retired Representative's successor the person who succeeded him or her in the new district that would be deemed to be the successor of the retired Representative's old district, irrespective of numbering. Thus, when Republican Connie Mack IV retired from his (heavily Republican) Cape Coral-Naples-Fort Myers FL-14, his successor was Republican Trey Radel of the renumbered FL-19 located in the same area, not Democratic incumbent Representative Kathy Castor, whose Tampa-St. Pete FL-11 was renumbered as the FL-14 in redistricting. The section on Representatives who retired already listed Mack as a Republican who retired and whose seat was held by the GOP; it was inconsistent (and misleading) to name Democrat Kathy Castor of the new FL-14 as his "successor."

Please let me know if you agree with my changes.

AuH2ORepublican (talk) 15:15, 24 January 2014 (UTC)