Washminster

Washminster
Washminster

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Congressional Elections


In the UK we limit the number of elections that can be held on the same day. The last three General Elections have coincided with County Council Elections - and there are some who still argue that two elections (possibly three if there is a district council by-election) is too much for the poor voter to cope with.

In the US Election Day can cover a whole host of elections - from the Presidency to the local dogcatcher. On November 4th US citizens will have a number of federal; state and local positions to vote on (and some will have votes on issues).

Over the period from now until Election Day I will post entries on some of the key Congressional races. A few points to note. In the US the incumbancy factor is greater than in the UK. Being a Senator or Congressman gives one greater name recognition; and more opportunities to raise campaign funds (who'll invest more in a challenger - when the incumbent has power to affect Government spending - British MPs may weep at this point!!!)). As a result "Open" seats are the more competitive. Americans are also more prepared to cross-vote - voting for a Democratic Congressman but a Republican for President. In fact some people take the American view of balanced powers so seriously that they deliberately cross vote.

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