Why do incumbents enjoy an electoral advantage in some political settings but suffer from a disadvantage in others? We propose a novel explanation linking variation in incumbency effects with exogenous commodity shocks. While voters attempt to sanction incumbents for economic performance, changes in commodity prices affect their evaluations and condition the electoral fortunes of incumbents vis-à-vis challengers. We test our argument in Brazilian municipalities, combining a plausibly exogenous measure of variation in commodity prices with a close election regression discontinuity design. Our results show that increases in the price of agricultural commodities greatly enhance the prospects of incumbents, while negative shocks exacerbate their incumbency disadvantage, especially in rural municipalities. Further investigation suggests that commodity shocks do not operate via voter learning about candidate quality, changes in the pool of candidates, shifts in voter preferences, or strategic elite investments. Instead, we find suggestive evidence that commodity shocks affect voters' evaluations through their effect on local economic growth.