Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press). Sep95, Vol. 76 Issue 3, p594-606. 13p. 1 Chart, 1 Graph.
POLITICAL campaigns, TERM limits (Public office), INCUMBENCY (Public officers), and GUIDELINES
The article investigates the effect of term limits and spending limits on Congressional turnover of the United States. It includes impact of rule changes on campaign expenditures and the likelihood of reelection; passage of the Campaign Reform Act of 1972; effect of financial rules on the incumbency advantage. Public concern over a seemingly intransigent and insensitive Congress has rekindled interest in raising the rate of turnover in that body. This paper investigates two approaches; term limits and spending limits, and how campaign strategies are affected when such rules are in place. Viewing congressional campaigns as rent-seeking games, strategic responses to certain rule changes are explored theoretically. These theoretical results then guide some empirical measures using data from the 1980 elections. Term limits reduce the benefits of holding office, which, in turn, reduce the effort put forth in capturing that office. This effect however, is asymmetrical with incumbents responding more than challengers. Spending limits disproportionately affect challengers, but when long-term effects are considered the "incumbency protection" they provide is much smaller than previously suggested.
Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press). Jun96, Vol. 77 Issue 2, p329-343. 15p. 2 Charts.
POLITICAL advertising, ECONOMIC competition, POLITICAL campaigns, and POLITICAL candidates
The article explores the possibility that the mix of positive and negative advertisements in the US Senate campaigns may vary, based on certain campaign contextual factors including candidate type, competition and state population. Negative advertising is said to be particularly useful to challengers, because they must give voters reasons to throw incumbents out of office. In the present candidate-centered era, voting decisions are largely based on retrospective evaluations of the performance of incumbents. Challengers can seldom rely on coattails or national tides favoring their party to help them topple incumbents. Since the early 1980s, it has become increasingly clear that incumbents facing tough challengers can no longer afford to take the high road. In so far as challengers use their advertising to give voters reasons to oust incumbents, much of a challenger's ad campaign will consist of negative ads, forcing incumbents to respond, which they often do by leveling a counterattack. The competitiveness of a campaign may condition the amount of negative advertising used in a campaign.
Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press). Mar92, Vol. 73 Issue 1, p194-201. 8p. 3 Charts.
LOCAL elections, VOTING, POLITICAL participation, MINORITIES, POLITICAL campaigns, and PRACTICAL politics
This article presents information on the cumulative voting system used in local elections of the U.S. In recent years several U.S. cities and special district governments have implemented new voting systems which are designed to enhance the electoral power of minority groups. A study of one of these new systems-cumulative voting-concluded that this system was highly effective and showed that voters have little trouble understanding new procedures, but that study also found many voters to be hostile to the new system, and this was especially the case with Anglo voters. Because its effectiveness is not dependent on a high degree of residential segregation, cumulative voting is particularly appropriate for those situations where minorities are fairly evenly dispersed throughout the community. Using the cumulative vote procedure, each voter is allocated a number of votes equal to the number of seats to be tilled at any particular election. Voters may aggregate or cumulate their votes and cast them in any combination of preference.
Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press). Dec91, Vol. 72 Issue 4, p834-88393. 6p. 1 Chart.
VOTING, POLITICAL campaigns, ELECTIONS, POLITICAL science, and SOCIAL scientists
This article discusses the misinformation and misperceptions in social research. The author says that the researcher Bernard Grofman has testified on behalf of plaintiffs in dozens of voting rights cases, the author has worked for defendants in similar cases. In his research note, Grofman argues that elections have a single predictor, race, so that multivariate approaches are not simply inappropriate but misleading. Rather than becoming apologists for the courts, social scientists should avoid the temptation to adopt methodologically inadequate approaches. Since the 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act, litigation has focused on seven primary and two secondary factors identified by U.S. Congress as relevant when assessing whether an electoral system dilutes minority political influence. While racially polarized voting and the election of minorities are perhaps the two most critical factors, courts have warned that decisions are not to be the product of a tally of the number of factors present but must rest upon an intensely local consideration of the totality of the circumstances surrounding elections.