Incumbency, Campaign Spending, and the Decline of Competition in U.S. House Elections

  title={Incumbency, Campaign Spending, and the Decline of Competition in U.S. House Elections},
  author={Alan I. Abramowitz},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={34 - 56}
  • A. Abramowitz
  • Published 1 February 1991
  • Economics
  • The Journal of Politics
The 1986 and 1988 U.S. House elections set all-time records for reelection of incumbents. This paper proposes and tests a comprehensive model of House election outcomes and uses this model to explain competition for House seats. The results indicate that the extraordinarily low level of competition in recent House elections is directly attributable to two trends which affected these elections during the 1980s: the increasing cost of House campaigns and the declining ability of House challengers… 
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