The Advantages of Incumbency

Essay by hfvira06High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2004

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

The re-election rates in Congress are overwhelmingly favored to the incumbents of Congress. People who are running for re-election holds many advantages to winning opposed to whomever the challenger is running against them. Many authors and political science scholars support this theory including such people as Richard Fenno, Morris Fiorina, David Mayhew, and Timothy Cook.

Richard Fenno explains some of the advantages an incumbent may have over any challenger in his article entitled Home Style. Many politicians in Washington are on the Tuesday through Thursday schedule. This means that members of Congress meet during the week and return home to their districts for long weekends. The "Tuesday through Thursday" crowd refers to these people who go home every weekend. At home is where the incumbents have the advantage over any challenger. Most of the time that a politician is away from Washington is spent making positive and good relationships with people throughout his or her voting district.

The time is spent around town at grocery stores, banks, baseball games, local school, ect. The politician and their staff do as much as possible to serve their community by always trying to lend a helping hand. When the people actually see the politician in action helping the people it engraves an image in the people's minds that make them happy and will vote for that politician in the next election. The politician knows that in order to be successful and win another election they must get the trust of the people. The politicians spend a lot of time projecting out an image to the people that he is dependable, competent, and trustworthy. It takes a lot of effort to win the trust of the people, but once you got it, trust by the people is a key to winning an election. When...