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"All in all, do you think things in the nation are generally headed in the right direction, or do yo

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seniors and partisans! Random terror and running scared ... Cater to partisan and ideological GOP base. 10 competitive races in 2004 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: "All in all, do you think things in the nation are generally headed in the right direction, or do yo


1
  • "All in all, do you think things in the nation
    are generally headed in the right direction, or
    do you feel that things are off on the wrong
    track?" NBC Nov 1-2
  • 11 right direction, 76 wrong direction
  • "How well are things going in the country today
    very well, fairly well, pretty badly or very
    badly? CNN Oct 17
  • 42 pretty badly, 33 very badly
  • 73 Disapprove of how Congress is handling its
    job

2
And yet..
  • Few incumbents lose
  • 16 House (12 R, 4 D)
  • 2 Senate (R- NH, NC)
  • Partisan swing
  • 5 GOP Senate seats lost (NH, NC, CO, NM, VA)
  • OR, AK, MN undecided
  • Democrat gains 20 in House

3
Context of Congressional Elections
  • Single member districts
  • Roughly equal size (650,000 souls)
  • First Tuesday in November in even years
  • Australian ballot
  • Must win 2 elections

4
Same Place, Same VotersThree Maps, Three Outcomes
  • Basic Rules
  • each square same population.
  • All squares in the same district must touch
  • R squares have a majority of Republican voters
  • D squares have a majority of Democratic voters.
  • Each set of squares with the same color represent
    a single election district

5
Map 1
  • How many Ds and Rs elected?
  • How many competitive elections?

6
Map 2
  • How many Ds and Rs elected?
  • How many competitive elections?

7
Map 3
  • How many Ds and Rs elected?
  • How many competitive elections?

8
Florida
  • Florida's 22nd District
  • 90 miles long
  • Less than 3 miles wide.
  • every beach house lining Route A1A along
    Florida's Gold Coast from West Palm Beach to
    Miami Beach
  • 52 Dem in 2000, 55 R in 2002

9
Social Political Contexts
  • Amazing Variation
  • geographic size
  • Population
  • Economic base
  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Partisanship

10
Incumbency Reelection Rates 1832-1996
11
Incumbency
  • 93 of House incumbents are reelected
  • 1994, 84 of House Democrats were reelected
  • 77 of Senate incumbents are reelected
  • 1 question to ask for congressional elections,
    Is there an incumbent?

12
Sources of Incumbent advantage
  • Institutions are designed by members who want to
    get reelected.
  • Amazing array of resources
  • Free mail, trips to district, staff
  • Free facilities for TV and radio ads
  • Casework

13
of Senate Staff, 1830 1993
14
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15
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16
Puzzle
17
Is it the Money?
  • Average incumbent gets 64.3 of vote
  • For every 100,00 spent, lose 1.17 of vote
  • For every 100,00 spent by party, lose 2.73 of
    vote
  • incumbent House winner spends 700,00
  • incumbent House loser spends 1,300,000

18
Incumbency Status and Voters' Familiarity with
Congressional Candidates, 1980-1994
Jacobsen, The Politics of Congressional
Elections, 1996
19
Voters Contact with Incumbents
20
Voters Contact with Candidates, 1990
21
Voters Contact with Candidates, 1990
22
Challengers 1990, 1994
23
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24
Things Liked about Incumbents
25
Things Disliked about Incumbents
26
Things Liked about Challengers
27
Characteristics of Winning and Losing Challengers
28
Corporate PACs/Trade Associations 60 of all PAC
, 1994
29
The Incumbents Strategy
  • Discourage serious electoral competition
  • Hilary Clinton - who doesnt she want to face!
  • Use casework, trips home, mailings to create
    perception of invulnerability
  • Ambitious career politicians and campaign funders
    are rational

30
  • Montana- McCain 50, Baucus 73
  • Arkansas McCain 59, Mark Pryor, 80

31
Who does Kirsten Gillibrand want to run against?
John Faso, GOP nominee for governor, 16 years
state assembly
Jim Tedisco, Minority Leader of Assembly, 26
years state assembly
Sandy Treadwell, Appointed chair of New York GOP,
wealth 50 million
32
Who is a marginal incumbent
  • Less than 60 of vote in previous election
  • Scandal in last term
  • Republican in a democratic leaning district
  • First term representative

33
Electoral Competition and Challenger Spending in
1994
  • Challengers party vote in last House election,
    spending by non-incumbent house candidate
  • lt40, 105,000
  • 40-45, 322,000
  • 45-49.9, 433 ,000
  • Open seat 580,000

34
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35
House of Representatives
  • 61 competitive races in 2000
  • 193 GOP incumbents won, 4 lost
  • 199 Dem incumbents won, 2 lost
  • GOP wins 20 of 25 open seats
  • Dems with 4 of 10 open seats
  • 17 changes of 435

36
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37
Senate in 2000
  • 12 toss up races out of 33
  • GOP 13 of 18 incumbents win
  • Dems 10 of 11 incumbents win
  • GOP 0 of 1 on open seats
  • Dems 3 of 4 on open seats
  • 7 changes

38
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39
Expectations Game
  • Better the electoral odds, better the challenger
    and more money
  • Weak incumbents and open seats attract well
    funded quality challengers
  • Strong incumbents attract weak, poorly funded
    candidates

40
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41
Strategic Politician Hypothesis
  • Best candidates, most money go to marginal
    incumbents, open seats
  • 2nd tier candidates, some money go
  • Hopeless, poorly funded candidates run against
    strong incumbents

42
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43
Rational Targeting in 2004
  • DCC identifies top races direct there
  • In 2004,
  • 33 challengers spent over 2 million
  • 200 spent less than 100,000
  • 30 House elections decided by lt10
  • Bad for Public?
  • Bad for Party?

44
Expand the Field in 2006?
  • 30 races or a 100
  • Campaign Spending? diminishing returns (1
    million)
  • Extra 500k ? 10 races

45
  • How would you vote in your congressional district
    if the election "were being held today?"
  • 52 of registered voters Dem
  • 37 for Republican candidates
  • Who would you like to see "in control of Congress
    after the congressional elections a year from
    now?
  • 55 Dems
  • 37 Republicans.
  • ABC News/Washington Post Poll

46
Strategic Politician Model
Implication? candidates decide elections, not
voters
47
Campaigns
  • ½ of all money is wasted, high uncertainty
  • What issues are important
  • Low turnout
  • 35 turnout in midterm elections
  • Who votes? seniors and partisans!
  • Random terror and running scared
  • Tom Foley, speaker of the house, 15 terms

48
Why do incumbents win?
  • Better known (90 vs 40
  • Better liked (more familiar)
  • Better funded

49
Why do challengers win?
  • Make voters aware of incumbents shortcomings,
    their own virtues via mass media
  • Are well funded
  • Implications???

50
NYs 21st District
  • 55 Bush
  • Gillibrand

51
Reforming the System
  • Term limits
  • Federal level
  • State level
  • Increase competitiveness of elections
  • Campaign finance reform
  • Key Issue, how to get more people to run for
    office!!!

52
Race to the Base
  • 1980 60 Reagan
  • 1996 60 Clinton
  • 2004 51 Kerry

53
Electoral ReplacementThe Death of the Gypsy Moth
Scott Garrett
Marge Roukema
54
Candidate Certification in Open Primaries
  • 216 House members, 42 senators

55
Declare War on Rinos
  • Republican In Name Only
  • Arlen Specter (PA)
  • Lincoln Chafee (RI)
  • George Voinvich (OH)
  • Olympia Snowe (ME)

56
Primary Challengers for Moderates
  • War on Rinos
  • Senator Chafee (R-RI) vs Steve Laffey

57
Safe Electoral Strategy
  • Cater to partisan and ideological GOP base
  • 10 competitive races in 2004
  • 35 competitive races in 2006

58
Why Incumbents Win
  • Table 5.3, high name recognition
  • Table 5.7, Voters Contact with Candidates
  • Table 5.15
  • Personal
  • Performance/experience
  • District service
  • Ideology/Policy

59
Challengers Strategy
  • Table 5.3 name recognition
  • Table 5.11, Campaign expenditures and name
    recognition
  • Table 5.7, Voters Contact with Candidates
  • Where do voters learn about challengers
  • Table 5.15, Things liked about challengers
  • What is 1?
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