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

  title={Incumbency, Redistricting, and the Decline of Competition in U.S. House Elections},
  author={A. Abramowitz and Brad Alexander and M. Gunning},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={75 - 88}
Competition in U.S. House elections has been declining for more than 50 years and, based on both incumbent reelection rates and the percentage of close races, the 2002 and 2004 House elections were the least competitive of the postwar era. This article tests three hypotheses that attempt to explain declining competition in House elections: the redistricting hypothesis, the partisan polarization hypothesis, and the incumbency hypothesis. We find strong support for both the partisan polarization… Expand
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