Dubious Democracy

Welcome to FairVote’s Dubious Democracy reports, our biannual release on the state of democracy in elections of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Latest Data from the 2012 Election:

Download the latest Dubious Democracy data, evaluating the quality of competition and representation in the 2012 elections, here. Check back soon for the full Dubious Democracy 2012 report.

Latest Report:


First issued in 1994 and issued every two years thereafter, Dubious Democracy provides a comprehensive 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.

Archived reports:
Dubious Democracy, 1982 - 2008
Dubious Democracy, 1982 - 2004
Dubious Democracy, 1982 - 2002