First issued in 1994 and issued every two years thereafter, Dubious Democracy provides a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the level of competition, rate of voter participation, and accuracy of representation in elections to the U.S. House of Representatives in all 50 states. With analysis of data since 1982, the report ranks each state on a "democracy index" that is a relative measurement based on average margin of victory, percentage of seats to votes, how many voters elect candidates and number of House races won by overwhelming landslides.
Dubious Democracy provides one overriding insight: Although our constitutional framers gave the House of Representatives extraordinary powers and, of all the branches of government, the clearest accountability to the American people, that accountability has been destroyed beyond recognition by winner-take-all election rules that magnify the power of campaign spending, incumbency advantage and redistricting.
Dubious Democracy 2016 highlights the chronic lack of competition and accountability in 2016 U.S. House elections across the nation. Overall 15.2% of House races were uncontested, and 73.8% were landslide victories. Moreover, in an extremely tight election nationally, Republicans won 6.3% more seats than their percentage of the national vote would indicate, while Democrats won 3.4% less.
Click the links below to find our past Dubious Democracy datasets.