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Advantages of Reelection while in Office

Updated on July 24, 2020
Dechawat Arsanam profile image

A student whom took too many AP courses relating to Social Studies such as: Economic, US History, Human Geography, Psychology.

Have you ever wondered, how does this senator keep on winning reelection? Perhaps it is not a senator, perhaps is it a representative and the question you wanted to ask him or her is: How did you win repeatedly?

You might asked this question because they are unpopular, perhaps this person does not necessarily serve the constituents interests and you therefore deeply believe that another person should have won instead.

Legislative Branch of the Government

Before going into detail, we first look at what the levels difference in our elected officials.

1. There are three level:

They are the Federal, State, and Local.

So which of these level have a impact on you, the constituent?

1. While the Federal level official could certainly impact you, their concern is more addressed toward the entire nation rather than a specific point of interest such as a city.

2. The State and Local level are more likely to influence the constituent lives.

Local officials can be the mayor, council members, or just any position that can be elected via voting by the people with an election.

This mean that a position such as “Sheriff” could run uncontested if no one know about it.

There have been many times where certain political positions have been won merely by one vote because no one knows about it nor care when such position can impact you. Position such as "Council Members" are much well known, but what about a "Constable?" They too, are equally important at the local level which directly impact you. But on the other hand, although they are important, their role is not well known which meant that when people votes... they are neglected. This therefore cause some officials to be elected with just a few numbers of vote alone!

Without any further pauses, let's dig into why an incumbent of any office position can or would hold a tremendous advantage over an challenger on their reelection.

1. Well known throughout their area

----------------> Name recognition is significant in order to gain voters attention. This meant that if the constituent voted for this candidate in the past election, why wouldn’t the constituents vote for him or her again?

------------------------------- However…. This could change if there are scandals or negative performance by said incumbent during his time in office.

  • A great example is former President Herbert Hoover.
  • This president was elected during the Great Depression where he did nearly nothing to stop the depression, which led to many critics of his presidency. He wasn't able to become elected again for his second term due his popularity being completely destroyed.

2. “Gerrymandering”

----------------> When there is a census, a political game of art that is beloved by the victor and hated by the minority occurs. Gerrymandering gives the political party in the majority a better chance of reelection as they redraw district boundaries.

The image below show how a Minority group can become the Majority even when the constituents are of certain political party affiliation. Meanwhile, if drawn another way... a certain political party can dominate the region that those districts are in.

3. Fundraising

----------------> The fact that the incumbent is in office meant that someone, organization, or corporations are willing to endorse or fund the incumbent. Is it therefore easier to get funding for the campaign for advertisement or rally as an incumbent has more money because of their established connection with donors.

4. Governmental resources

----------------> An office incumbent holds a certain amount of staff that fall into two category, Permanent and Temporary Staffs that have been with him or her throughout their time in office. This mean that they are more prepared to campaign for reelection than that of a challenger.

----------------> Although the Press is not part of the governmental resource, a incumbent position in itself is watched by the media.

-------------------------------- Example: A Senator can simply get on a TV show that covers the region or state that they represent and simply talk about their campaign. This is because their office is important and therefore the media would publish whatever this senator say.

----------------> Traveling costs money for the challenger, but for the incumbent office holder. They can simply get their campaign staff on any mode of transportation and the cost would be covered by the taxpayers.

5. Etc more reasons.... check out part 2 of this article!

(Coming out around August.)

Like this article? Support the author for more contents like these!

Thank you very much!

© 2020 Dechawat Arsanam


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