Political Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 97-111

First online:

Incumbent Vulnerability and Challenger Emergence in Senate Elections

  • Greg D. Adams
  • , Peverill SquireAffiliated withDept. of Political Science

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We examine challenger emergence in Senate elections by looking at the 1992 campaign in depth. We develop unproved measures of incumbent: vulnerability using data from the 1988 and 1990 NES Senate Election Studies. These measures are used to test the hypothesis that higher-quality challengers are more likely to challenge vulnerable incumbents. We find generally weak relationships between our incumbent vulnerability measures and challenger quality. Instead, challenger quality scores increase with the size of the pool of potential high-quality challengers.