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The Forum

A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics

Ed. by Shafer, Byron / Disalvo, Daniel

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Senate Delegation Dynamics in an Age of Party Polarization

Wendy J Schiller1 / Jennifer C Cassidy2

1Brown University Brown University

2Brown University Brown University

Citation Information: The Forum. Volume 9, Issue 4, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, DOI: 10.2202/1540-8884.1478, January 2011

Publication History

Published Online:

In the decade since Partners and Rivals: Representation in U.S. Delegations (2000) was published, Congress has experienced increased levels of party polarization. Congressional scholars have since concluded that this polarization trend has dramatically changed the context for deliberation, competition, and cooperation in the U.S. Senate. However, scholars have not explored the ties between increased polarization and representation within Senate delegations. In this article, we evaluate whether the dynamic of cooperation and competition among same-state Senators still exists along the lines identified in Partners and Rivals, or whether it has become merely a folkway of the past. We find that same-state Senators still construct distinct legislative portfolios designed to garner public attention and support, and that this still reflects a commitment to representation in the Senate.

Keywords: United States Congress; U.S. Senate; party polarization; delegations; representation; bills; amendments; DW-Nominate

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