Incumbency in Contemporary House & Senate Elections: Definition & Advantages


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In 2018, John Wayne, a teacher, is running against 6-term and current member of Congress, Thomas Jones, for the seat in the Texas fourth congressional district. John knows he is the underdog, so he is going to have a former Texas senator, Gerard Thorne, who now owns a business company, speak during his rally. Who is the incumbent in this story?

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1. From 1964-2008, incumbents in Congress won over _____ of elections.

2. What is one of the reasons an incumbent has better success with fundraising?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

What's an incumbent? What are Franking Privileges? This short, multiple-choice quiz will ask you these and other questions related to congressional elections.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Prepare to answer questions on the following:

  • Whether being an incumbent has any impact on the results of the election
  • Why incumbents tend to raise more funds
  • Why non-incumbents are disadvantaged during media appearances

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson on incumbents in congressional elections
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast incumbents and non-incumbents in a campaign context
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about incumbents and fundraising

Additional Learning

Deepen your understanding of elections by reviewing the accompanying lesson, Incumbency in Contemporary House & Senate Elections: Definition & Advantages. This lesson will help you with the following objectives:

  • Define political terms such as incumbent and name recognition
  • Discuss campaign fundraising
  • Review types of media used by candidates