OK

2012 saw the highest percentage of uncontested state legislature elections in the last 10 years.  This is not good for democracy.

A recent study at the College of William and Mary showed that the 2012 state legislature elections were the least contested in the last 10 years, with 40% of candidates running uncontested in the general election. They were the only candidates on the ballot, so the constituents in those districts had no choice about who would represent them in their state legislatures. The study showed that Georgia was the worst (or first, depending on your point of view) with candidates from both parties appearing on only 53 of 230 seats up for grabs.  In my own district, the only contest was for the Republican nominee for the 27th Senate district. It was a contest between the Tea Party candidate, and the Tea Partier candidate.  There was no Democratic challenger in either general election race.
Why?  Probably a combination of reasons.  First, district lines continue to be drawn to favor incumbents, with incumbents winning by large margins in all but a few races.  In the 2012 US House races, only 14% had a margin of victory of less than 10%.  66% had a margin of 20% or more.  
Cost is also a factor.  In the 2009 – 2010 cycle, the average state senate race cost $111,156 and the average house race cost $56,142.  In Georgia, the numbers were $85,223 and $45,626, respectively.  And the money makes a huge difference. Winners outraise losers by almost 3:1.  There is, of course, a chicken – egg argument for those numbers.
Whatever your politics, having so many seats uncontested or locked up can’t be good for democracy.  Everybody should have a choice when they go to the polls.  
http://www.wm.edu/...
http://ballotpedia.org/...
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