Former Republican Representatives and Party Polarization in the U.S. Senate

34 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2010

See all articles by David W. Rohde

David W. Rohde

Duke University - Department of Political Science

Sean M. Theriault

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government

Date Written: July 26, 2010

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Rohde, David W. and Theriault, Sean M., Former Republican Representatives and Party Polarization in the U.S. Senate (July 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1669373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1669373

David W. Rohde

Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
919-660-7053 (Phone)

Sean M. Theriault (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government ( email )

College of Liberal Arts
1 University Station A1800
Austin, TX 78712
United States

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