Challenger quality is an important determinant of electoral outcomes in congressional elections in the United States. Challenger experience remains an important influence on election outcomes, but quality differentials matter less than in the past for incumbency advantage. Incumbents increasingly underestimate inexperienced challengers at their peril. Public policy measures to promote more meaningful electoral contests implicitly, if not always explicitly, aim to achieve this goal. A more productive way to increase the presence of high-quality challengers in races against incumbents would be to introduce mechanisms that increase the competitiveness of congressional districts, defined by the district's partisan profile. Politically imbalanced districts in which one party or another dominates the electoral context will not attract formidable opposition against incumbents, even when such candidates are abundant. Critics may argue that declining challenger quality is not problematic for democracy.