- 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 -
- 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
- 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
- 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.
html by Ed LaBonte