Video Exercise

Incumbents normally enjoy an enormous electoral advantage over challengers, which political scientists call the “incumbency advantage.” Under the right set of circumstances, however, an incumbent can lose. This is why many of them are “running scared,” even though their chances of winning are quite high. Watch the following CNN clip about incumbents in the 2010 midterm election.

Why did incumbents, such as Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), feel so vulnerable in 2010? How did this sense of vulnerability change the way they campaigned?
Because independent expenditures are unlimited, the “Hill” committees run their own campaigns independent of the candidates their party supports. Like candidates, however, the Hill committees must craft a message. This message is then repeated in ads across the nation, irrespective of whether those ads are aired in Nevada or Virginia. Watch the following National Republican Senatorial Committee ads from 2010. Which issues did the NRSC focus on in that election? Were they local or national issues?

“One Vote”:

Tim Kaine: Cheerleader-In-Chief”:

Submit to Gradebook:

First Name:
Last Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Professor's Email Address: