Electoral competition

Electoral competition or electoral competitiveness describes the amount of competition in electoral politics between candidates or political parties, usually measured by the margin of victory.[1]

United States

In American federal elections, races for U.S. Senate tend to be more competitive than those for U.S. House of Representatives.[2] Even in wave election years, the vast majority of U.S. House members keep their seats, with little pressure from the opposing party.[3] Competition in U.S. House races has been in decline since at least the 1960s.[4]


  1. Klarner, Carl; Berry, William; Carsey, Thomas; Jewell, Malcolm; Niemi, Richard; Powell, Lynda; Snyder, James (2013). "State Legislative Election Returns (1967-2010)". doi:10.3886/ICPSR34297.v1. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. Nice, David (1984). "Competitiveness in house and senate elections with identical constituencies". Political Behavior. 6 (1): 95–102. doi:10.1007/BF00988231.
  3. "How Do We Make Elections More Competitive?". Prospect.org. 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2017-04-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. Abramowitz, Alan I; Alexander, Brad; Gunning, Matthew (2006). "Incumbency, Redistricting, and the Decline of Competition in U.S. House Elections". The Journal of Politics. 68 (1): 75–88. CiteSeerX doi:10.1111/j.1468-2508.2006.00371.x.