Life in the Middle

Marginalized Moderate Senators in the Era of Polarization
Oxford University Press
  • erschienen am 28. September 2021
  • |
  • 225 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-0-19-759975-4 (ISBN)
A long-held belief of political scientists is that moderate voices in the Senate act as power brokers between the ideological poles, yet year after year we see partisan gridlock in Congress. Some even argue that the shrinking number of moderates only increases their political influence. In Life in the Middle, Neilan S. Chaturvedi argues that the belief in the powerful, pivotal moderate neglects their electoral circumstances and overestimates their legislative power. In other words, not all Senators are elected under equal circumstances. Chaturvedi posits that, unlike their ideological counterparts who are elected from states that share an ideological identity, moderates are elected from one of two constituencies: states that have a partisan lean to one party but have enough "swing voters" to vote in a moderate from the opposite party, or states that are nearly evenly divided in terms of partisanship. Using unique interview data with legislative directors, retired United States Senators, and data compiled from the Congressional Record, Chaturvedi shows that, because of their precarious electoral circumstances, moderate senators must avoid active participation on bills and pushing controversial legislation. Lawmaking is much more variable and less moderating than previous theories assumed, as the process relies less on the work of moderates and more on party leaders. The book also demonstrates that mainstream concerns about polarization and its negative effects of increased gridlock and ideological legislation are true.
  • Englisch
  • Oxford
  • |
  • USA
978-0-19-759975-4 (9780197599754)
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Neilan S. Chaturvedi is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His research has been published in Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Review, and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties among many others. His research and teaching interests focus on the American Congress and Presidency, race and ethnic politics, elections, and public opinion.
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Marginalizing the Middle-A Theory of How Centrists Have Moderate Influence Chapter 3: Floor Action: Proposing Amendments and Speeches Chapter 4: Legislative Decision Making: Final Voting Strategy for Potentially Pivotal Players Chapter 5: Behind the Scenes: Priorities, Time, and Overall Satisfaction on the Legislative Process Chapter 6: Behind the Scenes: Measuring Influence on Legislation Chapter 7: Conclusion Appendices References

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