Election 2012 Data: The Impact on the House

Thomas E. Mann, Raffaela Wakeman,
Raffaela Wakeman Special Project Manager, Governance Studies
Korin Davis, and
Korin Davis Project Manager, Governance Studies
Elana Firsht
Elana Firsht Intern, Governance Studies

November 9, 2012

The 2012 election halted the trend of tumultuous, power-shifting elections in the U.S. House of Representatives, dramatic movements in the makeup of the House that we’ve been witnessing since 2006. Despite disapproval of Congress hitting an all-time high after the debt ceiling debate and speculation that Tea Party-backed freshmen would be vulnerable to challenges, there were surprisingly few upsets. The results lend truth to the old axiom that while Americans may hate Congress, they love their particular member of Congress.

The series of charts — what we’ve entitled “Election 2012 Data: The Impact on the House” — illustrates the outcomes of the 2012 House elections. The charts display district partisanship using the Cook Partisan Voting Index, a measurement of how strongly a congressional district or state leans toward one political party compared to the nation as a whole, the party split of the 113th Congress, the results of reapportionment and redistricting, and the power of incumbency.

In addition to these graphics, we’ve also developed a data set that contains results for the House, Senate and presidential elections. It’s Stata-friendly and easily downloadable. We welcome you to use what we’ve collected, improve upon it and use it for your further research and analysis.