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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916342
 
 

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Polarization without Parties: Term Limits and Legislative Partisanship in Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature


Seth E. Masket


University of Denver

Boris Shor


Georgetown University, Department of Government

August 6, 2014


Abstract:     
Despite a long history of nonpartisanship, the Nebraska state legislature has polarized rapidly within the past decade. Using interviews and campaign finance records, we examine politics in the modern Unicam to investigate nonpartisan polarization. We find that newly-instituted term limits created opportunities for the state’s political parties to recruit and finance candidates in an increasingly partisan fashion. Social network analysis suggests that there is a growing level of structure to campaign donations, with political elites increasingly less likely to contribute across party lines. The results offer a compelling example of parties overcoming institutions designed to eliminate them.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Nebraska, ERGM, campaign finance, nonpartisanship, state legislatures, social networks

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Date posted: August 25, 2011 ; Last revised: October 10, 2014

Suggested Citation

Masket, Seth E. and Shor, Boris, Polarization without Parties: Term Limits and Legislative Partisanship in Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature (August 6, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916342 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1916342

Contact Information

Seth E. Masket (Contact Author)
University of Denver ( email )
E. Evans and S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208
United States
303-871-2718 (Phone)
303-871-2045 (Fax)
Boris Shor
Georgetown University, Department of Government ( email )
Washington, DC 20057
United States
3122834599 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://research.bshor.com
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