The Challenge of Incumbency
In an election year a few high profile shootouts between opposing candidates might grab headlines but what about the staggering number of races in which the incumbent faces no challenger? Newsday's Rick Brand looks at the incumbency problem and what reforms, including public financing, might counteract it. Since public financing was passed in Maine, the number of competitive races has doubled and incumbents are finding they have to fight harder to keep their jobs. And in Arizona, as the Wisconsin Campaign Finance Project demonstrated in their comprehensive study of public financing (pdf), the number of incumbents facing a challenger has increased since the full public financing option became available.