Long Term Consequences of Election Results
British Journal of Political Science, 2015
22 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012 Last revised: 19 Feb 2016
Date Written: 2015
Voters in U.S. elections receive markedly different representation depending on which candidate they elect, and because of incumbent advantages, the effects of this choice persist for many years. What are the long-term consequences of these two phenomena? Combining electoral and legislative roll-call data in a dynamic regression-discontinuity design, we assess the long-term consequences of election results for representation. Across the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and state legislatures, the effects of “coin-flip” elections persist for at least a decade in all settings and as much as three decades in some settings. Further results suggest that elected officials do not adapt their roll-call voting to their districts’ preferences over time, and voters do not systematically respond by replacing incumbents.
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