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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Decline of Competition in House Races

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.

From FairVote:
Out of the 435 U.S. House elections in 2022, five out of every six races were decided by more than 10 percentage points. The average margin of victory for winners in contested elections was 27 percentage points. And that’s not counting the 32 seats (one out of every 13) that went uncontested by one of the major parties, compared to 27 uncontested seats in 2020.

Competition has been steadily decreasing since 2018 – in 2022, only 36 races were true toss-ups (a final margin within 5%), compared to 44 in 2018. The number of "competitive" races (final margin between 5% and 10%) has fallen from 45 to 35. Even the number of races where the final margin was between 10% and 20% fell significantly, from 81 to 73. Meanwhile, the number of landslides and completely uncontested races has jumped from 265 to 291.

While this lack of competition is a national problem, individual states’ performance on these and other key measures of democracy and accountability vary greatly.