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Congressional Results 2012. Opportunities to discuss course content Thursday 10-2 Friday 10-12.

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Presentation on theme: "Congressional Results 2012. Opportunities to discuss course content Thursday 10-2 Friday 10-12."— Presentation transcript:

1 Congressional Results 2012

2 Opportunities to discuss course content Thursday 10-2 Friday 10-12

3 Learning Objectives Analyze the theories of why people vote and apply them to the 2012 Election. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed.

4 Goals of Congressperson The Primary Goal is to Get Elected The Next goal is to get re-elected (Mayhew, 1974)


6 Partisanship is Most Important The biggest factor in Congressional election Even in open seat elections

7 Safe Seats Seat Maximization through Gerrymandering Majority Minority Districts

8 Residential Self Selection

9 INCUMBENCY Major Factor 2

10 Incumbency Can Eclipse Partisanship in some places A resource that provides many benefits

11 Incumbency The incumbent dominates the discourse The incumbent has the advantages It is the Incumbent’s seat to lose

12 Incumbent Benefit #1 - Money Attract Money at Higher Rates The War Chest

13 Incumbent Benefit #2 - Name Recognition We Vote For Who We Know What can Incumbents Do?


15 Benefit 3 – Weak Challengers Run against Losers Scare off Good Challengers

16 Spending My Own Money

17 Voluntary Retirements When candidates leave office, rather than run for re-election. Why people Retire?

18 Lose { "@context": "", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "", "name": "Lose


20 Stop Playing the Game Get too Old Become inattentive Scandal

21 Strategic Challengers can Alter This They run when national trends favor their party They have local advantages as well They also have the most to lose!

22 How Strategic Challengers Change Campaigns Attract Money Can turn National Issues into Local Ones Are Quality Challengers as Well

23 What is a Quality Challenger A person who has formerly/currently held elective office Name Recognition, Access to Money, a constituuency


25 House Incumbency

26 Senate Incumbency Senators are More vulnerable

27 GOING INTO 2012

28 Breakdown

29 Not a Wave Election

30 Why no wave? We hated Congress, but no one specifically The economy still wasn’t great The negative campaign Obama’s Popularity (too close to 50%)


32 The Results (D+8)

33 The Importance of Partisanship Republican Districts voted Republican, Democratic Districts voted Democratic Balanced districts split almost evenly

34 Republican Exposure The Republicans had more exposure Very Few Toss-up Seats Probably would have survived a wave.

35 The Democrats Actually Won the Nationwide Popular Vote Did not Take Back the House – Redistricting – Wasted Votes

36 Winners and Losers 2012

37 Redistricting The process of redrawing districts within a state State legislatures control the battle Very Political

38 The Role of Redistricting A Result of the 2002 election GOP Legislatures controlled 202 seats Democratic Legislatures controlled 47 seats

39 GOP Redistricting Tactics Create safer seats Remember the lesson of 2002

40 Republicans Have A Structural Advantage Democrats are more compacted Democratic areas are overwhelmingly democratic Democrats are “safer”

41 Regional Voting Democrats New England California West Coast Republicans South Upper Midwest

42 Money and the House

43 The 2014 Election Not Many Toss-up Seats Difficult to Reassemble Presidential Coalition 6 year Itch


45 The Dynamics The More Incumbents you have, the more you have to Defend – 23 Democratic Seats – 10 Republican Seats Democrats have a 53-47 lead

46 Where Were They?

47 The Results

48 What Explains the Results Incumbency Partisanship Candidate Factors

49 Indiana Supposed to be safe GOP Richard Mourdock. The GOP Loses by 6%

50 Missouri Clair McCaskill is very vulnerable Cross-over spending in the primary Todd Akin loses by 15%

51 Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren vs. Scott Brown Warren outraises Brown by 14 million Brown is the only incumbent to lose

52 Open Seats Maine North Dakota Montana

53 A Banner Year for Political Money 1 Billion is Spent Outside Money is important, but not crucial

54 Money isn’t Everything Self Financed candidates still lose Poor David Dewhurst

55 Looking ahead to 2014 The Republicans expected to gain…they didn’t Democrats have More exposure 7 seats are from states where Obama won

56 Can the Democrats Expand? Only 1 GOP Seat from a State where Obama Won Will the Republicans be “the stupid party”

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