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CongressThe First Branch$
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Benjamin Ginsberg and Kathryn Wagner Hill

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300220537

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300220537.001.0001

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Congressional Elections

Congressional Elections

(p.78) 3 Congressional Elections

Benjamin Ginsberg

Kathryn Wagner Hill

Yale University Press

This chapter reviews the US congressional electoral process. It considers, in turn, the candidates, the campaigns, the voters, and the consequences of the process. Every two years, Americans elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives to serve two-year terms, and one-third of the nation's 100 senators to serve six-year terms. The Constitution imposes age, citizenship, and residency requirements for service in the Congress but no other restrictions. Senators must be 30 years of age, and House members must be at least 25. To be eligible to serve in the Senate an individual must have been a US citizen for nine years, while service in the House requires an individual to have been a citizen for seven years. To be eligible for election, both senators and House members must be residents of the state they serve. House members are not constitutionally required to reside in their own districts, though virtually all find it politically expedient to do so.

Keywords:   congressional elections, congressional candidates, election campaigns, voters, House of Representatives, Senate, US Constitution

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