We can’t make a final count of candidates and primaries yet; the Secretary of State’s office still needs to process petitions that slid through her door at 4:59:59 yesterday, and some petitions may still trickle in over the coming days by registered mail. (And note: while vomitous Republican Neal Tapio submitted 2,521 signatures last Thursday and said he had a few hundred more coming Monday, Secretary Krebs still hasn’t placed him on the ballot. Call that your morning hope biscuit.) However, as of this breakfast’s count, Republicans have fielded candidates for 96 out of 105 Legislative seats, while Democrats have recruited 80.
By current posted filings, Democrats have four House primaries and one* Senate primary. Republicans have eight primaries for each chamber.
In 2016, Republicans had 91 Legislative candidates on the general election ballot. Democrats had 81.
In all general elections from 2000 on, Republicans have filled an average of 94.7 Legislative slots on the general election ballot. Democrats have averaged 75.7.
Over the last nine cycles, the best year for candidate recruitment was 2008, when Republicans fielded 102 and Democrats fielded 101.
In the first five elections of the 2000s, Republicans brought more than 100 candidates to the Legislative dance.
In those first five elections of the 2000s, Republicans averaged 101.6 candidates, while Democrats averaged 81.4. Averages for the last four elections have slipped to 91.8 for Republicans and 74.0 for Democrats. That’s a 10% slide for Republicans and a 9% slide for Democrats.
I’ll update these figures once we have final counts for this year.
Correction 16:36 CDT: My pivot table counted two Democratic Senate candidates in District 34, but visual inspection shows that the candidates’ list includes the Democratic candidate, Zach VanWyk, twice. There is thus only one Democratic Senate primary, in District 1, at this time.