The Impact of Incumbent Scandals on Senate Elections, 1974-2008
29 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 17 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 16, 2011
Conventional wisdom is that one of the few things that can counter the incumbency advantage in congressional elections is when an incumbent is embroiled in a scandal. However, there is little research that directly examines the impact of incumbent scandals on the electoral process. This paper intends to provide a basic foundation upon which future research can proceed. I categorize the types of scandals; their effect on campaign expenditures; the quality of challengers they attract; and their effect on the percentage of the vote received by incumbents.
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