The authors will share all requests for data and coding for replication purposes. The authors thank Robin Kolodny for helpful comments on an earlier version of this article at the Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association, November 17–19, 2011. Moscardelli thanks Briana Bardos and Jeremy Galtieri for research assistance and gratefully acknowledges the support of T. A. Borradaile and the UConn's Alan R. Bennett Fund.
The Lingering Effect of Scandals in Congressional Elections: Incumbents, Challengers, and Voters†
Article first published online: 12 JUN 2013
© 2013 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 94, Issue 4, pages 1045–1061, December 2013
How to Cite
Praino, R., Stockemer, D. and Moscardelli, V. G. (2013), The Lingering Effect of Scandals in Congressional Elections: Incumbents, Challengers, and Voters. Social Science Quarterly, 94: 1045–1061. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12046
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 12 JUN 2013
We have two goals. First, we investigate both the short- and long-term electoral impact of involvement in scandals on reelection margins of incumbents in U.S. congressional elections. Second, we evaluate the impact of scandals on district-level turnout.
We model the impact of involvement in a political scandal on incumbents’ electoral margins in the election cycle in which the scandal comes to light, as well as in future election cycles. We also model the impact of scandal on district-level turnout.
Involvement in a scandal exerts not only an immediate, negative effect on incumbents’ margins, but one that also lingers beyond the initial reelection cycle. Elections involving incumbents embroiled in scandals experience a small boost in turnout.
In tandem, these results implicate the mobilization of previous nonvoters intent on “throwing the bum out” as one mechanism through which incumbent vote share is depressed in scandal elections.