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Leading the New Majorities

  • Barbara Sinclair (a1)

When a political party wrests control of either house of Congress from the other, expectations for change are usually high and that was certainly the case in January 2007 when Democrats took majorities in both chambers for the first time in 12 years. What did the new majorities—and specifically their leaders—promise? To what extent have they delivered? And how do the experiences of the new majorities during their first nine months conform with or raise questions about our theories of Congress? This is perforce an interim report but, even so, it can perhaps shed some light on our theories as well as provide a first assessment of the new majorities and their leaders.In addition to the references cited here, this paper is based on interviews, observation and news accounts.

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Aldrich, John, and David Rohde. 2000. “The Consequences of Party Organization in the House: Theory and Evidence on Conditional Party Government.” In Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era, eds. Jon Bond and Richard Fleisher. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Cox, Gary, and Mathew McCubbins. 1993. Legislative Leviathan: Party Government in the House. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Cox, Gary, and Mathew McCubbins. 2005. Setting the Agenda. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2006. “A New Direction for America” and “Six in '06.” Now available at: Accessed fall 2006.
Sinclair, Barbara. 2006. Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of the Policy Process. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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