Chapter

Party and Constituency in the U.S. Senate, 1933–2004

John Aldrich, Michael Brady, Scott De Marchi, Ian Mcdonald, Brendan Nyhan, David W. Rohde and Michael Tofias

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226534947.003.0003
Party and Constituency in the U.S. Senate, 1933–2004

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This chapter considers how constituent and party interests may vary across issue dimensions. Using comprehensive data from 1933 to 2004, it shows show that the second dimension of conflict in the Senate, which captures the primary cross-cutting issue(s) on the agenda, is more closely related to state demographics, while the first dimension is more closely related to party and presidential voting. There was a massive upswing in the association between demographics and second-dimension voting during the period in which race was a highly salient issue that split the Democratic Party. However, as the parties polarized after the issue of race was incorporated into the partisan divide, the relationship between demographics and Senate voting declined to a similarly low level for both dimensions.

Keywords: political parties; constituents; party interests; state demographics; presidential voting; race

Chapter.  3923 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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