Student Reader

Incumbent Advantages

Incumbents seeking reelection in Congress have several advantages over other candidates. Sources of the incumbent advantage include:

  1. Raise more money than challengers
  2. Franking privileges
  3. Constituency service (Case work)
  4. Helping the district
    1. “Pork” (Money secured for projects in districts)
    2. “Ear marks” (Money inserted into large bills without attribution)
  5. Drawing Congressional Districts
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