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Explaining Senate Election Outcomes


  • Abramowitz, Alan I.


Aggregate-level data are used in this analysis to explain the outcomes of Senate elections between 1974 and 1986. Using the individual Senate contest as the unit of analysis permits estimating the relative influence of a wide variety of factors on Senate election results including political characteristics of states, characteristics of the candidates, and national political conditions. Of these factors candidate characteristics had the strongest impact on the outcomes of Senate elections. The importance of candidate characteristics has had two major consequences for Senate elections. First, two-party competition has spread to every region of the country: in Senate elections, no state can be considered safe for either party. Second, money is probably now more important than ever, especially for challengers and candidates for open seats.

Suggested Citation

  • Abramowitz, Alan I., 1988. "Explaining Senate Election Outcomes," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 385-403, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:82:y:1988:i:02:p:385-403_08

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