Capitol Hill Briefing

Incumbents, Uncompetitive Elections and American Democracy

June 30, 2005 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

B-354 Rayburn House Office Building

Featuring Patrick Basham, Senior Fellow, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute; with comments by David Carney, Republican strategist and former White House Political Director.

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American politics has fewer and fewer competitive elections. Why are many House races so one‐​sided? Can anything be done to make our elections more competitive? A timely new study by Cato Institute senior fellow Patrick Basham addresses these questions. In his study, Basham traces the history of political competition, challenges the conventional wisdom on how best to reform the system, and proposes better ways of breathing some competitive life into our elections. His suggested changes address the manner in which congressional districts are designed, political campaigns are funded, and politicians are tenured.