Monthly Archives: April 2008

Effects of “In-Your-Face” Television Discourse on Perceptions of a Legitimate Opposition

Why can some Americans agree to disagree with their “worthy opposition” while others dismiss their political opponents as irrational lunatics? Do we truly believe that ALL red-state residents are ignorant racist fascist knuckle-dragging NASCAR-obsessed cousin-marrying road-kill-eating tobacco-juice-dribbling gun-fondling religious fanatic rednecks; or that ALL blue-state residents are godless unpatriotic pierced-nose Volvo-driving France-loving left-wing Communist latte-sucking […]

Challenger Entry and Voter Learning

Democracy is supposed to provide voters with an opportunity to hold elected officials accountable for their performance in office. With so many elected officials to monitor, however, voters would have a difficult time fulfilling this task without assistance. Previous research has indicated that experienced, high-quality candidates are more likely to challenge Congressional incumbents when there […]

Candidate Quality, the Personal Vote, and the Incumbency Advantage in Congress

If democracy requires rotation in power, then the American Congress may not be all that democratic. If democracy requires rotation in power, then the American Congress may not be all that democratic. In 1998, 2000, and 2002, over ninety-six percent of House incumbents who have sought reelection have won. These facts are clear. What is […]