Who Votes in Congressional Elections?
- Turnout in Congressional elections is generally under 50% (next slide)
- Only those who pay attention are likely to vote in every election (especially in primaries)
Voter Decision Making
- Party based voti
The Federalist Papers/Constitution
- Federalist #10:
o Makes the classic argument that faction is inevitable because of human nature
o A representative government allows us a better chance at controlling the effects of
- Federalist #51:
o A gove
Davidson et al. Chapter 3
- The main goal of this chapter is to focus on more formal constraints associated with
running for Congress.
- As in, the formal constraints on running for Congress are few:
Recruiting, Redistricting, and the Decision to Run
Getting Legislation to the Floor
- While holds, and amendments, are not guaranteed killers, leaders are less likely to focus
on legislation that has a hold.
o This is because of the large time constraints
New World of Congress
New World of Senators
- The Senate has changed remarkably in 60 years, BUT
- it remains one of the most relaxed legislative institutions (regarding rules on debate) in
The 1950s Senate
- Electoral security
Midterm Study Guide
1. Connecticut Compromise:
a. Definition: A compromise that assured equal representation between states in the
b. Importance: It eased the concerns of Connecticut and the smaller states, and
effectively shaped the way
How Was Congress Designed?
- Congress of lawmaking vs. Congress as local representatives
Congress as lawmaking body
- In Burkean terms: A deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the
wholewhere not local purposes, not
Changing Institutions in Congress
Katz and Sala (1996)
- The reforms of the 1890s changed incentives of Representatives.
o Voters could punish individuals in a way they couldnt before the secret ballot.
o Thus, MCs needed to earn reelction.
- The Secret B
Changing Ambitions in Congress
The Modern Congress
- The Modern Congress is characterized (and actions can be understood) by two aspects
that are sometimes in tension.
o They are partisanship and desire for reelection.
- The Modern Congress is incredibly
- The never ending campaign.
o We vote more than any other industrialized nation.
o We have more offices that are electable.
o In short, there is always a campaign underway.
o And, campaigns are more expensive than anywhere else in