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.

Suggested Citation

Long, Nicholas Chad, The Impact of Incumbent Scandals on Senate Elections, 1974-2008 (March 16, 2011). Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN:

Nicholas Chad Long (Contact Author)

St. Edward's University ( email )

3001 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
United States
512-428-1086 (Phone)

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