Congressional Elections


Since the House is closest to its constituents because reelection is so frequent a need, it tends to be more easily led by fleeting public desires. In contrast, the Senate’s distance from its constituents allows it to act more deliberately. Each type of representative, however, must raise considerable sums of money in order to stay in office. Attempts by Congress to rein in campaign spending have largely failed. Nevertheless, incumbents tend to have the easiest time funding campaigns and retaining their seats. They also benefit from the way parties organize primary elections, which are designed to promote incumbency.