Why do Incumbents win majority of time during election - Essay Example

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There is a wealth of literature in American political studies identifying the existence of an “incumbency advantage.” It refers to the electoral margin that an incumbent enjoys because he or she is contesting the election as the incumbent. This paper is an attempt to explore…
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Why do Incumbents win majority of time during election
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Download file to see previous pages Since they are in office, they can use the privileges provided to them by the taxpayers in the form of free travel, mailing, airtime, town hall meetings, hiring sizable staff to assist them in making them more likeable and others to strengthen their campaign. Furthermore, during their time in office, they certainly make some friends in the corporate world and political arena, such as labour unions, professional lobbyists and big businesses, who are likely to express their desire to find their campaigns in return for favors and advantages in the future (Gelman & King 1148). Recent statistics confirm the same. During the 2012 election cycle, every incumbent was able to raise more than 0.9 million US dollars as part of their fundraising campaign, but the same figure remained at less than 0.15 million for the challengers. Therefore, incumbents were able to outraise their challengers by 405 million to 88 million.
Sitting members of Congress are paid to meet and talk with the voters, attend town hall meeting, appear regularly on the media, liaison with the press and engage in actions and decisions, which could assist them in improving their overall image because this is an imperative part of their job as members of Congress (Ashworth and Bueno de Mesquita 1009). Therefore, they can run their campaigns while performing these jobs and taking advantage of the perquisites available to them while they are in office. However, a challenger, if he or she is not extremely wealthy, would have to use their savings, go into debt and find other ways of financing to run a campaign (Sabato 142).
If the challenger is not already a political servant, celebrity, or well known in the masses, it puts him or her at even a bigger disadvantage against the incumbent. This is true because the incumbent has served for at least two or six years in case of Congress and Senate respectively, thus allowing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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