The Incumbency Effect

Mar 11, 2020  | 1 min  | Ep 2020


Well interestingly enough, when women run for office they are as likely or even more likely to win as similarly situated men. Now similarly situated is the key phrase here. So it’s very difficult when looking at races for state legislatures or for the US Congress for any challenger to beat an incumbent.

An incumbent has a lot of advantages in terms of fundraising, name recognition, experience, seniority and all those kinds of things, which makes it actually easier for an incumbent to be re-elected.

But when you compare women challengers to male challengers, women are as likely to win, or slightly more likely to win than male challengers are.

The same thing with women incumbents. If women are elected to office, all of the incumbency effects that benefit their male colleagues benefit themselves as well.

So they are again, no more vulnerable as incumbents in terms of being re-elected as any similarly situated man.