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Encyclopedia > Incumbent
Look up Incumbent in
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The incumbent, in politics, is the current holder of a political office. This term is usually used in reference to elections, in which races can often be defined as being between an incumbent and non-incumbent. For example, in the 2004 United States presidential election, George W. Bush was the incumbent, because he was the president in the current term while the election sought to determine the president for the following term. The incumbent, in politics, is the current holder of a political office. ... The incumbent of a benefice, usually the parish priest, in Anglican canon law holds the temporalities or assets and income. ... Image File history File links Question_book-new. ... Image File history File links Wiktionary-logo-en. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... A politician is an individual involved in politics. ... This article is about the political process. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ...

Contents

Etymology

The word "incumbent" is derived from the Latin verb incumbere, literally meaning "to lean or lie upon," with the present participle stem incumbent-, "leaning or lying upon."[1] For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ...


In politics

In general, incumbents have structural advantages over challengers during elections. The timing of elections may be determined by the incumbent instead of a set schedule. For most political offices, the incumbent often has greater name recognition due to their previous work in the office. Incumbents also have easier access to campaign finance, as well as government resources (such as the franking privilege) that can be indirectly used to boost a campaign. An election (especially for a legislature) in which no incumbent is running is often called an open seat; because of the lack of incumbency advantage, these are often amongst the most hotly-contested races in any election. This article is about the political process. ... Name recognition is a concept used in politics to describe number of people who are aware of a politician. ... Political campaign Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Campaign finance refers to the means by which money is raised for election campaigns. ... The franking privilege is a perk which grants an elected official the right to send mail through the postal system for free, often simply by signing his or her name where the postage stamp would normally be placed. ... A Legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to create, amend and ratify laws. ...


In the United States, incumbents traditionally win their party's nomination to run for office. Unseating an incumbent president, senator or other figure during a primary election is very difficult. In particular, barring major scandal or controversy, about 95% of congressional incumbents win re-election to their seats[citation needed]. However, shifts in congressional districts due to reapportionment or other longer-term factors may make it more or less likely for an incumbent to win re-election over time. For example, a Democratic incumbent in historically conservative Texas would have less chance of winning than a Democratic incumbent in liberal New York City, because Texas has shifted away from the Democratic party in terms of voting (see also Congressional stagnation in the United States). For other uses, see Primary. ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... Apportionment, or reapportionment, is the process of determining representation in politics within a legislative body by creating constituencies. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... Conservatism is a term used to describe political philosophies that favor tradition and gradual change, where tradition refers to religious, cultural, or nationally defined beliefs and customs. ... For other uses, see Texas (disambiguation). ... Look up liberal on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Liberal may refer to: Politics: Liberalism American liberalism, a political trend in the USA Political progressivism, a political ideology that is for change, often associated with liberal movements Liberty, the condition of being free from control or restrictions Liberal Party, members of... Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the state of New York and the entire United States. ... United States Capitol where Congress convenes Congressional stagnation is an American political theory that attempts to explain the high rate of incumbency re-election to the United States House of Representatives. ...


However, there exist scenarios in which the incumbency factor itself leads to the downfall of the incumbent. Popularly known as the anti-incumbency factor, situations of this kind occur when the incumbent has proven himself not worthy of office during his tenure and the challenger demonstrates this fact to the voters. An anti-incumbency factor can also be responsible for bringing down incumbents who have been in office for many successive terms in spite of performance indicators, simply because the voters are convinced by the challenger of a need for change. An anti-incumbent vote is one exercised against the current government officials, or a current elected official. ...


When newcomers vie to fill an open office, voters tend to compare and contrast the candidates' qualifications, issues positions and personal characteristics in a relatively straightforward way. Elections featuring an incumbent, on the other hand, are as Guy Molyneux puts it, "fundamentally a referendum on the incumbent."[2] Voters will first grapple with the record of the incumbent. Only if they decide to "fire" the incumbent do they begin to evaluate whether the challenger is an acceptable alternative.


Voters typically know incumbents well and have strong opinions about their performance. Challengers are less familiar and invariably fall short on straightforward comparisons of experience and (in the presidential arena) command of foreign policy. Some voters find themselves conflicted -- dissatisfied with the incumbent yet also wary of the challenger -- and may carry that uncertainty through the final days of the campaign and sometimes right into the voting booth. Among the perpetually conflicted, the attitudes about the incumbent are usually more predictive of these conflicted voters' final decision than their lingering doubts about the challenger. Thus, in the campaign's last hours, we generally tend to see "undecided" voters "break" for the challenger. See Incumbent Races: Closer Than They Appear http://www.pollingreport.com/incumbent.htm by Nick Panagakis, 1989. (There are some major exceptions, such as in the 2004 Canadian federal election where many undecided voters went to the incumbent due to an alleged fear factor of the unknown.) The Canadian federal election, 2004 (more formally, the 38th general election), was held on June 28, 2004 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons. ...


In business

In business the term Incumbent is used for the largest company in a certain industry, for instance the traditional phone company in telecommunications. In a sales process, such as public tender, incumbent may also refer to the vendor that has the largest existing commercial relationship with the issuer of the tender.


In large corporations it is the incumbent who is the holder of an office, or one that occupies a particular position.


In media or telecommunications

In media or telecommunications, the term incumbent is used to describe existing companies often first established as regulated monopolies. These include television or radio stations who have benefited from government granted broadcast licenses and telecommunications companies who first existed at regulated utilities with exclusive rights to serve an area. Incumbents in this context typically have extensive market power for ten years.


See also

  • Lists of office-holders
  • List of current heads of state and government
  • Outgoing president

These are lists of incumbents, i. ... This is a list of current heads of state and government, showing heads of state and heads of government where different, mainly in parliamentary systems; it should be noted that often a leader is both in presidential systems or dictatorships. ... An outgoing president is a president who holds office between the election of his/her successor and the inauguration of his/her successor. ...

References

  1. ^ (1996) in T. F. Hoad: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192830988. 
  2. ^ Guy Molyneux, The Big Five-Oh, The American Prospect, 1 October 2004.
is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the political process. ... Vote redirects here. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Incumbent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (800 words)
Incumbents also have easier access to campaign finance, as well as government resources (such as the franking privilege) that can be indirectly used to boost a campaign.
For example, a Democratic incumbent in historically conservative Texas would have a less likely chance of winning than a Democratic incumbent in liberal New York City, because Texas has shifted away from the Democratic party in terms of voting (see also Congressional stagnation in the United States).
Elections featuring an incumbent, on the other hand, are as Guy Molyneux puts it, "fundamentally a referendum on the incumbent." Voters will first grapple with the record of the incumbent.
CongressLink - A Resource for Teachers Providing Information About the U.S. Congress (1773 words)
In this research, incumbents were said to win reelection so frequently because congressional voters were inordinately swayed by name recognition when casting their congressional votes.
Incumbents already have gotten their name before the voters; things like casework and franking allow them to do so while in office.
Incumbents win reelection so often because congressional elections are usually poorly followed by media and by the voters.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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