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Most Downloaded Articles
- If I Could Hold a Seminar for Political Journalists… by Fiorina, Morris P.
- If Everyone Votes Their Party, Why Do Presidential Election Outcomes Vary So Much? by Shaw, Daron
- Independent Leaners as Policy Partisans: An Examination of Party Identification and Policy Views by Magleby, David B. and Nelson, Candice
- Delegation, Control, and the Study of Public Bureaucracy by Moe, Terry M.
- The Disappearing--but Still Important--Swing Voter by Mayer, William G.
Rocking the House: Competition and Turnout in the 2006 Midterm Election
1George Mason University
Citation Information: The Forum. Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, DOI: 10.2202/1540-8884.1138, December 2006
- Published Online:
Despite a national tide for the Democrats in the 2006 midterms that increased the number of competitive congressional races, national voter turnout rose only slightly. Consistent with previous findings, higher turnout in some states reflected increased competition in statewide races for Governor and U.S. Senate. Unexpected surprises, however, lurked among individual congressional races. Voter turnout in highly partisan and closely contested congressional races frequently exceeded turnout for the Senate or Governor's races, suggesting that partisan control over Congress motivated participation. But because there were few competitive races overall, particularly in the three most populous states, national turnout suffered. The 2006 midterm election does not signal a return to voter apathy as much as reflect an ailing electoral system, which requires reforms to increase the number competitive congressional seats to boost overall turnout.