Thirteen states with a total of 147 congressional districts have held primaries. Incumbents sought re-election in 135 of those districts and 134 were victorious. Rep. Ralph Hall, a Texas Republican, is in a runoff on May 27.
The unblemished record will be put to the test with Hall, at 91 the oldest House member in history. He faces former federal prosecutor John Ratcliffe in a second-round Republican vote 12 weeks after Hall led by 45 to 29 percent in the first-round primary. In Texas, a majority of the vote is needed to win a primary.
Thirteen House members were unseated in the primaries in 2012, the first elections held after a once-per-decade redrawing of congressional lines that forced some incumbents to challenge colleagues in their own party primaries. Four House members were denied renomination in 2008 and in 2010.
Eight states including California and New Jersey will hold primaries on June 3. California uses an unusual “Top 2″ primary system under which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the November general election. So a House member from California seeking re-election would be eliminated in the June 3 balloting only by finishing worse than second. Most states hold separate primaries for Democrats and Republicans.