Despite a seemingly never-ending stream of news reports about the November election, the election of many federal lawmakers has already been decided.
OpenSecrets has shown that the better-funded campaign nearly always wins, a finding that dovetails with the fact that incumbents, also, usually win. And incumbents tend to have an easier time raising money than the candidates who challenge them. Even though there are some elections that will almost certainly be nailbiters, and even though occasionally a challenger surprises an incumbent with an upset, we can be fairly confident about the outcomes of many races.
In 135 races, only a single candidate is running (defined here as having submitted a financial report to the Federal Election Commission). In some cases, the real contest took place in the primary, but in others there’s no challenger who has raised or spent more than $5,000. Seven states have not yet held their primary contests, so the number of uncontested general election races could increase closer to Nov. 8.
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