CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS

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  • CONGRESS ELECTIONS
    • Incumbency
      • 2014, 11% approval rate, yet 97% of incumbents were re-elected
      • 2004, record high of 99%
      • 2008, 396 of 435 sought re-election, only 39 'open seats'
      • 2016, Alabama had 7 incumbents in all 7 seats, 3 unchallenged
        • Massachusetts 9 incumbents in the 9 seats, 4 unchallenged
      • ISSUES
        • Calls to add fixed terms like in the UK FTPA 2011 because of slow turnover
          • Redistricting every 10 years, per SC order to prevent malapportion-ment that denotes popularity inequality
            • Protected by the 14th Amendment equal protection clause
            • Redistricting can cut an incumbent out of their own district by drawing boundary lines that do not include that incumbents' home
      • PAC's likely to invest in candidates they already know
    • Mid-terms
      • All 435 up for re-election
        • House elections more significant than the 1/3 of the Senate
          • Can alter the minority or majority position in either chamber e.g. Obama 2010 "got a shellacking"
      • Arguably a referendum on the importance of the incumbent
      • Turnout more significant [40%], decided by differential turnout, 2010 Democrats abstained
      • Stakes not as high? Election issues more local rather than national

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