Voting and Abstaining in the U.S. Senate: Mr. Downs Goes to Washington
Voting and Abstaining in the U.S. Senate: Mr. Down's Goes to Washington. (2011). Southern Business and Economic Journal. 1 (34), 55-72.
18 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012 Last revised: 4 Feb 2016
Date Written: November 30, 2012
Rothenberg and Sanders (2000a) find little support for a Downsian theory of voter participation in the (104th) U.S. House of Representatives. Vote abstentions are common in legislative bodies. In the 2nd session of the 110th United States Senate, for example, the abstention rate was approximately 0.057. The present paper uses logistic regression models with fixed effects as well as random effects in an alternative legislative setting to determine whether vote participation in the 110th Senate conforms to “Downsian rationality.” Throughout the analysis, we find substantial evidence that legislators in the 2nd session of the 110th Senate made vote participation decisions in a manner consistent with Downsian rationality.
Keywords: Calculus of Voting, Senate, Shirking, Logit, Closeness, Expressive Voting, Instrumental Voting
JEL Classification: C23, D72, H70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation