2012 Election


T his year marked the election of the 113th Congress of the U.S. House of Representatives, whose 435 members serve two-year terms. Tennessee will send nine delegates to the House, the same as Massachussetts, Indiana and Arizona. Thirteen states have more seats, 33 have less. Go to the National page to see state rankings.


All nine incumbents, seven Republicans and two Democrats, won reelection on Nov. 6. by wide margins. The closest race was in the fourth district, where Republican Scott Desjarlais defeated Democrat Eric Stewart by more than 11 points, in spite of revelations that Desjarlais, a medical doctor opposed to abortions, had had affairs with two patients, had pressured one into having an abortion, and whose former wife had had two abortions while they were married. An article in The Tennessean gives more details.


Incumbents not only far out-fundraised their challengers but also collected the only large donations from special interest committees, especially from out of state. One challenger, Republican George Flinn in the 9th, funded his own campaign with a loan of $1.5 million, but he’s not the only candidate with deep pockets. Go to the Finances page to see where the money has come from.

Republicans keep the House

In spite of the lowest approval ratings in history, the U.S. House of Representatives will see the majority of its incumbents return. Of the 435 seats, 81 have new members, 46 Democrats and 35 Republicans, with six races still undecided (one, the Louisiana third district, is between two Republicans). So far the Democrats have a net gain of three seats while the Republicans have lost eight, making the current balance 196-234.

2012 winners and losers by district:
• Election results
• Financial data
• Positions on key issues

Redistricting in Tennessee:
• 2012 redistricting maps

Social, Economic Issues:
• Comparing candidates’ positions on nine issues

Campaign Finances:
• Counting big money, tracking where it came from

The National Election:
• Why the House won’t change
• Which seats nationwide could change parties