Electoral Accountability, Party Loyalty, and Roll-Call Voting in the U.S. Senate

Jamie L. Carson

in Why Not Parties?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226534879
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226534947 | DOI:
Electoral Accountability, Party Loyalty, and Roll-Call Voting in the U.S. Senate

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This chapter examines the representational connection between roll-call behavior and electoral accountability in the context of Senate elections. More specifically, it examines the effects of both ideological extremity and party loyalty on senators' electoral fortunes in the context of all Senate elections from 1974 to 2004. From this, it hopes to offer new insights regarding the electoral effects of roll-call voting patterns in the Senate and present a comparative assessment of the differences between House and Senate elections. The chapter is organized as follows. It first reviews research on electoral accountability in the U.S. House before turning to a more general discussion of prior research on U.S. Senate elections. From there, it examines relevant theoretical issues underlying the analysis and then discusses the data and methodology employed here. Next, it presents results detailing the electoral consequences of ideological extremity and party loyalty in the U.S. Senate. It concludes by discussing the implications of the results and exploring possible avenues for future research.

Keywords: representation roll-call behavior; Senate elections; party loyalty; ideological extremity; senators

Chapter.  6088 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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