Does incumbency matter anymore?

In today’s political climate, incumbency is no longer a reliable indicator of winning elections. Incumbency is the idea that those who have been elected will likely be re-elected. This might quickly be changing. The recent defeat of Joseph Crowley, an incumbent, to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez highlights this new trend. This proves that newcomers with fresh ideas and appeal can beat incumbents.

Though incumbency rates are still high, with the house having 98 percent re-election and the senate having 93 percent, the midterm elections will determine whether or not the incumbency continues. Many incumbents win because of their name recognition and privileges given to them for being in office.

Currently, with issues and actions dictating winners of elections, incumbents are more at risk of losing their position. Post-Donald Trump voter populations are more politically active and no longer vote based exclusively on name recognition. They now explore candidates’ policies and statements.

Since the presidential election in 2016, voters have been invigorated and are participating in the political process more. The increase can also be attributed to the importance of the upcoming elections with so much at stake, such as the significance of future policies and legislation. If voters remain active and continue to research candidates, incumbency may not matter in the future.