Despite Congress’ record low approval rating and the much-hyped “throw the bums out” mood of the public, incumbents are still winning in most races. Though there have been several high-profile defeats — such as GOP Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah and, likely, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska (in photo), who is narrowly trailing after Tuesday’s GOP primary — about 98 percent of incumbents have won so far in 2010, according to Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. That rate is “about normal on a 40-year average,” said Sabato, who contends that the idea of an anti-incumbency wave is a “press-manufactured phenomenon.”
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