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Party Voting in the United States Congress


By the standard of most European parliaments, levels of party voting in the United States Congress are relatively low. Nevertheless, party voting does occur in the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the American context, a party vote occurs when majorities of the two congressional parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, oppose one another. The authors construct measurements of levels of party voting in Congress in the years after the Second World War. They then develop a model to test the effects of a number of independent variables that influence fluctuations in party voting levels over time. The study models the time series for party voting and demonstrates striking differences between the House and Senate in the correlates of partisan cleavage.

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John E. Jackson , Constituencies and Leaders in Congress: Their Effects on Senate Voting Behavior (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974)

David R. Mayhew , Party Loyalty among Congressmen: The Difference between Democrats and Republicans 1947–1962 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966).

Richard T. Carson and Joe A. Oppenheimer , ‘A Method of Estimating the Personal Ideology of Representatives’, American Political Science Review, 78 (1984), 163–78

Richard C. Elling , ‘Ideological Change in the US Senate: Time and Electoral Responsiveness’, Legislative Studies Quarterly, 7 (1982), 7592

Herbert M. Kritzer , ‘Ideology and American Political Elites’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 42 (1978), 484502

Helmut Norpoth , ‘Explaining Party Cohesion in Congress: The Case of Shared Policy Attitudes’, American Political Science Review, 70 (1976), 1156–71

Keith T. Poole , ‘Dimensions of Interest Group Evaluation of the US Senate, 1969–1978’, American Journal of Political Science, 25 (1981), 4967

Keith T. Poole and R. Steven Daniels , ‘Ideology, Party, and Voting in the US Congress’, American Political Science Review, 79 (1985), 373–99

Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal , ‘The Polarization of American Polities’, Journal of Politics, 46 (1984), 1061–79

Steven S. Smith , ‘The Consistency and Ideological Structure of US Senate Voting Alignments, 1957–1976’, American Journal of Political Science, 25 (1981), 780–95

Herbert F. Weisberg , ‘Evaluating Theories of Congressional Roll Call Voting’, American Journal of Political Science, 22 (1978), 554–77.

Herbert B. Asher and Herbert F. Weisberg , ‘Voting Change in Congress: Some Dynamic Perspectives on an Evolutionary Process’, American Journal of Political Science, 22 (1978), 391425

David W. Brady and Phillip Althoff , ‘Party Voting in the US House of Representatives, 1890–1910: Elements of a Responsible Party System’, Journal of Politics, 36 (1974), 753–75

David W. Brady , Joseph Cooper and Patricia A. Hurley , ‘The Decline of Party in the US House of Representatives, 1887–1968’, Legislative Studies Quarterly, 4 (1979), 381407

David W. Brady and John Billing , ‘The Electoral Connection and the Decline of Partisanship in the 20th Century House of Representatives’, Congress & the Presidency, 11 (1984), 1936

Walter Dean Burnham , ‘Insulation and Responsiveness in Congressional Elections’, Political Science Quarterly, 90 (1975), 411–35

Jerome M. Clubb and Santa A. Traugott , ‘Partisan Cleavage and Cohesion in the House of Repre-sentatives, 1861–1974’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 7 (1977), 375401.

Jerome M. Clubb and Howard W. Allen , ‘Party Loyalty in the Progressive Years: The Senate, 1909–1915’, Journal of Politics, 29 (1967), 567–84

William G. Shade , Stanley D. Hopper , David Jacobson and Stephen E. Moiles , ‘Partisanship in the United States Senate: 1869–1901’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 4 (1973), 185205.

David W. Brady , ‘A Reevaluation of Realignments in American Politics: Evidence from the House of Representatives’, American Political Science Review, 79 (1985), 42–3.

David W. Brady and Naomi Lynn , ‘Switched Seat Congressional Districts: Their Effects on Party Voting and Public Policy’, American Journal of Political Science, 17 (1973), 528–43

Marvin G. Weinbaum and Dennis R. Judd , ‘In Search of a Mandated Congress’, Midwest Journal of Political Science, 14 (1970), 276302.

Alan D. Monroe , ‘American Party Platforms and Public Opinion’, American Journal of Political Science, 27 (1983), 2142.

A. R. Gallant and J. J. Goebel , ‘Nonlinear Regression with Autoregressive Errors’, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 71 (1976), 961–7

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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