Introduction: Excerpts from Speech by Hendrik Hertzberg
New Yorker editorial editor Hendrik Hertzberg is recognized as one of the United States' most astute political observers. He is a firm believer in the need for Americans to re-examine their electoral system and to support a form of proportional representation.
Here's what others are saying about Monopoly Politics
Overview of Monopoly Politics
Demography as Destiny: U.S. House Elections, 1996
This chart categorizes House districts by their vote in the presidential race. Republicans hold a 135-16 edge in districts where Bill Clinton received 44% or less. Democrats hold a 118-8 edge in districts where Clinton received 54% or more. Only one first-year Republican won election in 1996 from a district where Clinton received more than 49% of the vote -- his national average.
Seniority and Success: Incumbents in U.S. House Elections, 1996
This simple, but revealing, chart shows how safe most senior incumbents are. Of 171 incumbents seeking re-election in 1996 who had first been elected before 1990, 169 won -- and 162 of the 169 winners won by a comfortable margin of at least 10%.
Summary of Predictions with State-by-State List: 1998 U.S. House Elections
This is the heart of Monopoly Politics. It provides detailed information on current incumbents' electoral history in the 1990s and on the presidential performance in their districts. These factors provide the means to predict the outcome and victory margin in the great majority of House races well over a year before the 1998 elections take place.
The Hot Twelve in 1998.... And 15 Simmering Untouchables
This factsheet lists the 11 most vulnerable seats and lists 15 "untouchable" incumbents who may face stiffer competition than usual in 1998.
Impact of One-Party Districts on Campaign Finance
This chart lists the 25 House candidates -- all incumbents -- in the 1996 elections who raised the greatest percentage of their funds from sources outside of their district. The chart includes their last three election results and the presidential performance in their district. Given the great security of nearly all of these incumbents, the question becomes: why do out-of-district contributors provide so much support to these representatives?
Open Seat Races and Defeated Incumbents: Comparison of Impact of Money and District Partisanship
This factsheet summarizes the relative impact of campaign spending and district partisanship in open seat races and in races where a challenger defeated an incumbent in the 1996 U.S. House elections. Even in these races, it is clear that money flows to candidates and challengers expected to win -- and it is clear that open seat outcomes are far more influenced by the partisanship of the district than campaign spending.
Open Seats and Money
This section provides more specific detail on the money spent by candidates in open seat races, grouping candidates by the partisan nature of the district in which they were running. The evidence is overwhelming that voters are very consistent in how they vote in the House and presidential races no matter how much money is spent in the race.
Ticket Splitting: An Unusual Phenomenon
This factsheet provides exit-poll evidence of voter consistency. Four in five voters usually do not split their tickets -- voting for one major party in the presidential race and the other in the House race. Those who do split tickets include some who cancel each other out. Contrary to popular belief, by some measures ticket-splitting is on the decline, not rise.
Voter Consistency in Presidential and House Elections in California
This chart compares the vote for president and the vote for winners in U.S. House races and provides the relative spending of winners and challengers as a means to gauge the impact of great spending advantages. The conclusion is that incumbents on average may have a smaller advantage than commonly believed -- perhaps only 3% to 5%.
Defeated Incumbents: 1994 and 1996 House Elections
These two factsheets provide information on the electoral history of incumbents who were defeated in the 1994 and 1996 elections. It shows how most had a history of facing serious competition and how most either represent "swing" districts or districts more favorable to the other major party.
Demography as Destiny (Part 2): Effect on Voting Behavior
This chart shows the voting behavior in Congress of the top 16 Republicans in pro-Clinton districts and the top 16 Democrats in anti-Clinton districts. With some exceptions, representatives vote in ways that are more consistent with their district than their party.
Election Results, 1982-1996 and Glossary
Excerpts from the Center's 1996 Dubious Democracy report on U.S. congressional elections, with some data added to the summary page from the 1996 elections. A glossary of terms helps in interpreting the chart.
General Elections, U.S. House of Representatives, 1954 - 1996
This list of key measures of competitiveness over the past four decades shows how high rates of non-competitiveness and incumbent re-election rates are nothing new.
U.S. Senate and 1996 Presidential Race
This factsheet categorizes states by their vote in the presidential race. Although the correlation between U.S. Senate winners and state partisanship is not as strong as in House races -- for reasons explored in the factsheet -- results once again are generally consistent. The factsheet also explores why Republicans may have an edge in control of the Senate.
Districts on the Move: Where Democratic Performance Changed
This factsheet lists the 22 districts where Bill Clinton showed the greatest improvement and the greatest relative decline. It provides insight into where shifts are occurring in the electorate.
Admission of Guilt: Redistricting and Non-Competitiveness
Several state legislators in North Carolina make frank comments about the redistricting process that took place in their state in early 1997. Given voter consistency, the power of district line-drawing should be obvious -- it certainly is to these legislators.
Methods to Madness: Alternative Schemes for Redistricting
This analysis by the Center's Walter Hearne examines in detail the innovative redistricting approaches taken in the states of Iowa and New Jersey.
History of Single-Member Districts for Congress
This article by Tory Mast, a former intern of the Center, recounts the history of legislation on single-member districts for U.S. House elections.
The Case for Proportional Representation
Testimony by the Center's Rob Richie to the North Carolina Better Campaigns Commission, co-chaired by former Senator Terry Sanford and three other former North Carolina governors. The testimony explains why proportional representation electoral systems speak to current reform interests and are consistent with our founders' philosophy.
Money Doesn't Buy Love -- Nor Most Elections
An article in Roll Call, July 21, 1997 by Rob Richie, executive director of The Center for Voting and Democracy.

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