Former Republican Representatives and Party Polarization in the U.S. Senate
34 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2010
Date Written: July 26, 2010
Political parties in the Senate are almost as polarized at they are in the House. Nevertheless, the explanations for party polarization work better for the House than they do the Senate. The growing polarization literature has speculated, though not precisely measured, the direct influence House polarization has had on the Senate. This paper finds that almost the entire growth in Senate party polarization since the early 1970s can be accounted for by Republican senators who were previously elected to the House after 1978. In turn, our analysis indicates that the effect of these Republican former representatives can partially be accounted for by a set of constituency factors that are related to their increased conservative voting.
Keywords: Party Polarization, Senate, Congress
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