What has the probability of incumbent reelection remained essentially unchanged even though the average share of the vote won by incumbents has increased dramatically since the 1950s?
What is the "incumbency advantage?" Can you think of any ways that you might measure it? Why do incumbents win a higher share of the vote than non-incumbents?
What are and what explains David Mayhew's "vanishing marginals?"
How do strong challengers decide when to run for Congress against incumbents?
What role has the decline of partisanship played in congressional elections? Does it benefit a particular political party? challengers? incumbents?
Why is it important for congressional candidates to become known? How do the perks of office give incumbents a tremendous advantage in name recognition and thus in the election?
How do national political and economic conditions (i.e. the popularity of the president and state of the economy) influence the decisions of vote directly (i.e. through their vote choice) and indirectly (i.e. through the actions of strategic politicians)?
Why did Republicans win control of the House in 1994? What conditions might help the Democrats win it back?
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