Test 2 Review - Test 2 Congress The Most Representative Branch o Distinctive attributes of Congress relative to legislatures in other democracies

Test 2 Review - Test 2 Congress The Most...

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Test 2 Congress The Most Representative Branch o Distinctive attributes of Congress relative to legislatures in other democracies Decentralized candidate selection Parties’ candidates selected by affiliated voters through party primary elections, not by party leaders/organizations Lower “party discipline” More ideological diversity within parties, less control exerted over members and their votes by party leaders More emphasis upon constituent relations/services Greater emphasis upon casework and other particularized benefits for home districts/states Stronger “incumbency effect” 95% reelection rate for House members seeking reelection, 87% for Senate o Comparing the House of Representatives and the Senate The effects of differing constituencies (districts vs. states) More ideological extremists in House than Senate due to smaller and more homogeneous constituencies Efficiency The efficient and majoritarian House, the deliberative and minoritarian Senate Specialization The specialized House, the generalist Senate Changing Institutional Dynamics o The growth of the federal government and increasing legislative activity Has made service in Congress more attractive as a long-term career o Increasing professionalization Decreasing turnover and longer tenures Late 1700s – 1800s: ~ 50% membership turnover after each election Today: < 10% membership turnover after each election o Increasingly candidate-centric elections Changes in communications and travel bring members of Congress closer to their constituents and shift focus from parties to candidates o The growing incumbency effects Pre-1960s: No significant incumbency effect 1960s – present: The incumbency effect emerges o Increasing ideological polarization 1970s – present: Party unity increases, partisan conflict increases o Increasing party discipline

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