David R. Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> is a Ph.D. candidate in political science
Special Elections to the U.S. House of Representatives: A General Election Barometer?
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
2010 Comparative Legislative Research Center at the University of Iowa
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 283–297, May 2010
How to Cite
SMITH, D. R. and BRUNELL, T. L. (2010), Special Elections to the U.S. House of Representatives: A General Election Barometer?. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 35: 283–297. doi: 10.3162/036298010791170150
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
Vacancies in the U.S. House of Representatives are filled using special elections. These elections occur off the usual American electoral cycle, and their results are routinely portrayed by the American mass media as indications of what to expect in the next general election. We examined the predictive power of special elections results with respect to the general election outcomes for the U.S. House of Representatives from 1900 to 2008. We found that special elections that yield a change in partisan control do have predictive power regarding general election results.