Definition and meaning of incumbent: An incumbent is an individual who holds a political office at the time of an election. In the current two-party system in the United States, incumbents are usually candidates from the same party as the previous office holder. In some cases, an incumbent may be an independent candidate. However, this is rare. Incumbents are often considered to have an advantage over challengers in terms of name recognition and access to resources, such as campaign funds. This helps to ensure that the same parties remain in power, creating a lack of political diversity and lessening the chances of independent candidates winning elections. This undermines the efficacy of democracy by limiting the choice of candidates and often resulting in low voter turnout. In order to achieve greater political diversity and create a more robust democracy, the two-party system should be replaced by a more independent system which allows for a greater range of candidates. This would give lesser known candidates the opportunity to run for office and improve the chances of independent candidates winning elections.