Sunday, March 07, 2010

What are the explanations for the fact that Congressional incumbents usually win their reelection bids? What are the sources of their advantages?

http://cbs2chicago.com/video/?id=58076@wbbm.dayport.com

Above is another great video and analogy (btw: READ THE CHAPTER ON CONGRESS AGAIN!)

Below is a link to an incumbent who may NOT win! (due to a rare primary challenge)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/06/AR2010030602239.html

32 comments:

Mr. Bretzmann said...

James: Si, that counts...and dos: I'll call you James all week for liking the countdown AND spelling phenomenal correctly! Now go read a chapter.

aprichard said...

I think the "below" link was either magical and disappeared, or was never posted. Oh, well. Im curious to what the "rare primary challenge" was. The video was a nice review on congress though.

Congressional incumbents usually win their relection bids because they are already am established political figure in their arena, have intrest groups and PAC's willing to dole out cash for the incumbent to continue protecting their assets and going after their goals, and can use their success in office to prove they are worthy of reelection. They can then use this to demonstrate to their party that they are worthy of supporting the parties platforms and are reliable voters. It is not enough to simply do well in office, the politician must gather their accomplishments, records and supporters to present to their party that they have done well. Their record of past judgements is their most valuable tool of persuasion to win reelection.

Mr. Bretzmann said...

aprich: sorry about that...I must have been interrupted by one of two kids, or a sunny day! Thanks for pointing it out.

Tyler Kehoe said...

A great quote "People fear what they dont understand." Truly, incumbents have the advantage in any election because they gained that initial support of what people wanted. In the next election, they recognize the name and automatically just vote for them. As most of the population, almost close to 20 % generiously actually pays attention to politics and what their politicians actually do, just vote for their incumbent in office.

Also, we should have a pizza/ap practice test night the week before the exam. now go watch the oscars? ha

Diana said...

In my opinion, incumbants have the upper hand because they are familiar to the people already. Also, when running for office again, they can point out the positive aspects of their past term such as policies getting pasted, which would make people more likely to vote again for them. They saw what good the person had already done.

K-Iglinski said...

incumbants have the advantage because they are able to point out what past elections they were able to win and why. They are able to use the same plans to get elected and just tweak them a little bit to get into whatever spot they are shoting for. Thats my opinion.

morgank said...

Incumbants have several things going for them already when they decide to run for reelection. They already probably have the support of the voters who helped the incumbant get into office. As others said, incumbants already know what problems the people want addressed and are able to use information and connections to their advantage.

jmarczewski said...

First of all, I'm gonna be arrogant and give a shoutout to MYSELF and the Muskego Warrior Bowling Team on a 5th Place Finish at State this weekend! That's the highest a Muskego Boys' Varsity team has ever finished! That left-handed guy that dropped this class cuz he fell asleep a lot, his name escapes me, also contributed a great part to the cause and finished in the Top 32 for the singles competition.

Incumbants usually win their reelection bids because they are a familiar name on a ballot, and, as Kehoe quoted, people fear what they don't understand. This includes newcomers to the election pool. In elections for Congress, often times the common voter doesn't even know the name of the current congressperson, so the label "incumbant" could subconsciously sway the voter to believe that he/she is more qualified than the challenger. It's like knowing nothing about football, and if the Indianapolis Colts are in the Super Bowl against the "Defending Super Bowl Champion" Jacksonville Jaguars: The fan who knows nothing about football would hypothetically place their money (and/or other means of nonbetting such as confidence) on the "Defending Super Bowl Champion."

I second the motion for a pizza party...but with pizza comes krispy kreme...

AAgostini said...

Incumbents have quite a few advantages. One, they can assert their experience, which is usually of value to voters. Unless a major crisis occurred, incumbents can claim that they handled the job before, and they can handle it again. If their initial term went well, they can mention their successes to voters. Incumbents are also familiar to voters. Unless voters are extremely dissatisfied with how the incumbent candidate has handled things in the past, they are likely to stay true to their initial decision.

JakeK said...

I don't know Mr. Bretzmann... I really think this is the year the GOP finally beats Dave Obey!

MKlinka said...

it's yesterday in Tokyo

Incumbents already have their constituents lined up from the first election. Also, everyone knows them, they already have an infrastructure protecting them. Their goals and policy objectives are laid out before everyone, and their supporters still are in line with them. They've also got a history, people know what they've done and what they're about.

MKlinka said...

it's yesterday in Tokyo

Incumbents already have their constituents lined up from the first election. Also, everyone knows them, they already have an infrastructure protecting them. Their goals and policy objectives are laid out before everyone, and their supporters still are in line with them. They've also got a history, people know what they've done and what they're about.

Famigliettim said...

congress incumbents typically win their relection bids because they are an established political figure in the area and would normally have very strong support from their party on a national level for funding of campaigns.

PMiner said...

ugh, i unfortunately find myself agreeing with mike on this one. They establish such a base for themselves and they gather so many ties together with other senators and interest groups and the citizens. They really set themselves up rather nicely

klatour said...

I guess since everyone seems to be reiterating each other's comments, I'll do the same.
Incumbents are at an advantage because people are simply familiar with their names in some cases. People would most times rather vote for someone they know of more often than a person they have never heard of. Also, many donations of money go to the incumbent official. The political resources incumbents have serve a purpose as well. They have free access to media and most travel expenses. Lastly, they do have franking privileges, that being their free mailing rights.

jreichart said...

Ahh Katherine, nice point about the franking privileges ....it makes me think of Franklin, that silly little turtle from that cartoon show when we were kids. Anywhooo, Congressional incumbents usually win their reelection bids based on the fact that as a state votes for a congressman (or woman I guess), the votes are usually based on party affiliation. If a democratic state such as Wisconsin elects two democratic senators (which is a poor decision in itself), we find that as long as these senators don't screw a ton of stuff up, and for the most part, reflect the party's ideals, they stay in office. This is applicable with our representatives as well. Such as Paul Ryan (yayy).

BTW....Mr. Bretzmann, this weekend York and I went to this Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser dinner at the Pfister dressed as the lion and tinman to add to their Oz theme. Scott Walker walked up to us with his iphone, requested a picture with us and then said, quote, "Nice, I've got to twitter this." and shook our hands. That is my way of influencing public policy.

Nicolette said...

Incumbents win most of their reelection bids because people know them and are comfortable with them. Many people feel "Why vote for someone new when the person in office is doing a good job?" They have also had past experiences of getting elected and they know what works.

Famigliettim said...

in other unrelated news, leslie nielson is not dead, the man who played the captain is dead at 83. rip peter graves

Mr. Bretzmann said...

Capt. Clarence Oveur: Unger. Mr. Unger: Oveur. Mr. Dunn: Oveur. Capt. Clarence Oveur: Dunn. (RIP Peter Graves)

PMiner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PMiner said...

alright, i couldnt get the link to work, but just copy and paste that into your web address and watch it

PMiner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Bretzmann said...

Sorry Paul...we're not ready for that...yet. :)

PMiner said...

hahaha you deleted my link!!!
its alright, all in time... all in time

Mr. Bretzmann said...

methinks Wednesday perhaps??? Thursday??? Definitely this week.

That cow must be slaughtered now!

rlepak said...

Incumbents usually win reelection bids because they are more likely to be heard of. Incumbents can deluge the voter with free mailing, they can travel frequently to meet constituents, and they can get their names in the papers by sponsoring bills of conducting investigations.

Brandon D said...

The incumbents usually win the realections because people feel more confident and comfortable in voting for someone who is known, as opposed to someone that is unkown to the voter with less experience in the election process

Diana said...

The video "A Breakdown of Congress" helped me understand the difference between the House and Senate further. They used the hot tea and sauser analogy which I remember learning in class.

j.polinski said...

The reason incumbents win reelections is essentially because voters know what they bring to the table as in how they run office. They also have better access to media so they will be able to have more people view their campaign ads.

Ryan Paprocki said...

I don't think that Tea Party canidate JD Hayworth will beat John McCain for his senate seat come election time for not only the reasons previously listed, but because the tea party seems to be more of a fringy group and McCain is a war hero who was tortured for 5 years in Vietnam. Good luck.

Oh and Hayworth needs to stop obsessing over beasteality

twerner said...

I think that Congressional incumbants usually win in a reelection because their constituents are familiar with them and know what they're about. Seeing as many people don't actually pay attention to what their Congressional representatives actually do, the voters recognize the incumbant's name and almost automatically vote for him/her. Unless the incumbant has done something so wrong that none of the voters can stand them any longer, they have the upper hand to their competition.

Nick Berry said...

Incumbents usually win reelection because of several factors: many voters know who they are, they have been in local media a lot, and some good challengers don't have the monetary support to run against the incumbent. A source of their advantage comes from interest group funds and PACs. Loyalty to voting the way the interest groups want rewards the incumbents with continued high amounts of funds.