by John Hawkins | February 21, 2006 7:44 am
“In state after state, redistricting after the 2000 Census proved that bipartisanship—ritually praised, rarely practiced—is often overrated. Democrats and Republicans collaborated in drawing congressional districts that would protect incumbents of both parties. Campaign-finance “reforms,” which make raising money more difficult, are written by incumbents and work to the advantage of… well, take a wild guess. Here is a hint: In the last two election cycles, 98 percent of incumbents seeking re-election won. The explosive and utterly bipartisan growth of earmarks—federal spending directed by individual legislators to specific projects—is yet another advantage incumbents have as they toil to get rid of that offensive 2 percent.
Until then, they will have to be comforted by the fact that in 2004, just 21 incumbents (out of 435) won with 55 percent or less of the vote. In 2000 the number was 40. In 2004, 325 incumbents received 60 percent or more of the vote, and 146 received 70 percent or more.” — George Will
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