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Marginality: A Wider Examination of the Relationship of Prior Congressional Electoral Margins To Electoral Success.

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Abstract:

Recent research on American government has discussed in great detail incumbency advantage in elections, especially the House of Representatives. One thread of that research has looked at marginal districts. In Gary Jacobson’s 1987 article he pointed out that while the margin of victory in House races had increased, this did not translate into a decrease in the likelihood of being elected. This article was critiqued by Bauer and Hibbing two years later. They argued that the results that Jacobson had uncovered were being driven almost entirely by the 1974 post-Watergate election because of Jacobson’s relatively small dataset.
I replicate and expand upon the results of these articles. I utilize House elections that have occurred since the Bauer and Hibbing article to construct a new dataset that has not been examined in this way. Have the patterns regarding marginality held up over the past 16 years? The answer is a qualified no. Also, I expand the dataset backwards. By expanding the dataset back to 1914 we get a better historical context for this problem.
1914 was chosen because of my second expansion to this research agenda, the United States Senate. Too often the Senate is neglected in Congressional research. By including the Senate we have another point of reference for the importance of changes in election patterns of the House. Since similar patterns exist in Senate elections it points to different potential causes for the phenomena observed than if the Senate move differently from the House.
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Name: Southern Political Science Association
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http://www.spsa.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212684_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Sempolinski, Joseph. "Marginality: A Wider Examination of the Relationship of Prior Congressional Electoral Margins To Electoral Success." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel Intercontinental, New Orleans, LA, Jan 09, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212684_index.html>

APA Citation:

Sempolinski, J. M. , 2008-01-09 "Marginality: A Wider Examination of the Relationship of Prior Congressional Electoral Margins To Electoral Success." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel Intercontinental, New Orleans, LA <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212684_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Recent research on American government has discussed in great detail incumbency advantage in elections, especially the House of Representatives. One thread of that research has looked at marginal districts. In Gary Jacobson’s 1987 article he pointed out that while the margin of victory in House races had increased, this did not translate into a decrease in the likelihood of being elected. This article was critiqued by Bauer and Hibbing two years later. They argued that the results that Jacobson had uncovered were being driven almost entirely by the 1974 post-Watergate election because of Jacobson’s relatively small dataset.
I replicate and expand upon the results of these articles. I utilize House elections that have occurred since the Bauer and Hibbing article to construct a new dataset that has not been examined in this way. Have the patterns regarding marginality held up over the past 16 years? The answer is a qualified no. Also, I expand the dataset backwards. By expanding the dataset back to 1914 we get a better historical context for this problem.
1914 was chosen because of my second expansion to this research agenda, the United States Senate. Too often the Senate is neglected in Congressional research. By including the Senate we have another point of reference for the importance of changes in election patterns of the House. Since similar patterns exist in Senate elections it points to different potential causes for the phenomena observed than if the Senate move differently from the House.

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Associated Document Available Southern Political Science Association
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Similar Titles:
On-the-Take at Any Margin? Seniority, Electoral Marginality and Vote-Buying in the U.S. Congress

Only a Marginal Difference?: Examining Partisan Voting Behavior of Marginal Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 103rd –107th Congresses


 
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