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Elections

Brian Newman

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Are Voters Better Represented?, Brian Newman, John D. Griffin Oct 2005

Are Voters Better Represented?, Brian Newman, John D. Griffin

Brian Newman

Studies of political participation and representation often contend that elected officials respond more to the preferences of voters than those of nonvoters, but seldom test this claim. This is a critical assumption because if true, biases in who participates will lead to biased representation. Office holders might respond disproportionately to voters’ preferences because voters tend to select like-minded representatives, voters tend to communicate their preferences more, and only voters can reelect representatives. We find that voter preferences predict the aggregate roll-call behavior of Senators while nonvoter preferences do not. We also present evidence supporting the three explanations advanced to account ...


Explaining Seat Changes In The U.S. House Of Representatives, 1950-1998, Brian Newman, Charles Ostrom Dec 2001

Explaining Seat Changes In The U.S. House Of Representatives, 1950-1998, Brian Newman, Charles Ostrom

Brian Newman

Recent U.S. House elections have challenged existing models of congressional elections, raising the question of whether or not processes thought to govern previous elections are still at work. Taking Marra and Ostrom's (1989) model of congressional elections as representative of extant theoretical perspectives and testing it against recent elections, we find that the model fails. We augment Marra and Ostrom's model with new insights, constructing a model that explains elections from 1950 to 1998. We find that, although presidential approval ratings and major political events continue to drive congressional elections, the distribution of open seats must also ...