Tag Archives: parties

A Matter of Context: Christian Right Influence in U.S. State Republican Politics

The Christian Right’s political influence from one state to the next has little to do with the size of each state’s Evangelical population. In a new article, Kimberly Conger tries to explain why the Christian Right is more influential in some states than in others. Most commentary about Christian conservatives focuses on the national context, […]

Party Power or Preferences? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from American State Legislatures

Cox, Kousser, and McCubbins want to show that agenda control matters. They did. But without meaning to, they also showed that persuasive leaders and party cohesion matter even more. Consider why some bills can get through a legislature but others can’t. Perhaps (1) legislator preferences are all that matters; liberal legislators vote for liberal bills […]

Partisan Polarization and Congressional Accountability in House Elections

It may have been true 20, 30, or 40 years ago that members of Congress could evade accountability for Congress’s overall activities, but rising polarization has enabled voters to punish or reward Representatives for Congress’s collective performance. Shortly before the 2008 Congressional elections, only 36% believed that most members of Congress deserved reelection. These numbers […]

Broad Bills or Particularistic Policy? Historical Patterns in American State Legislatures

If you want your legislators to pass general policies that benefit the state as a whole, pay them less, make districts bigger, and strive for partisan balance. If you want your legislators to pass pork and other district-focused bills, pay them more, make districts smaller, and promote one-party government. When will state legislators take on […]

No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures

Parties control the public behavior of their office holders by acting as gatekeepers to political office The debate on the influence of political parties on the political process until recently has been restricted to parties in government. ¬†Scholars have focused their debate primarily¬†on the impact of party on the actions of a legislator in the […]