Candidates, Congress, and the American Democracy
Publication Year: 1994
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Title Page, Copyright, List of Related Titles
A decade ago, Donald Matthews (1983) began his exhaustive review of the legislative recruitment literature on a gloomy note. Scholars, he charged, had tended to assume that who lawmakers were and how they got to the legislature were important without subjecting that assumption to rigorous testing. They had developed a wealth of descriptive...
In November 1986, voters in Mississippi's Second Congressional District narrowly elected Democrat Mike Espy as their U.S. Representative. The first black member of Congress from the state since Reconstruction and one of only six successful challengers in the general election, Espy reversed a century of white supremacy in the Mississippi...
2 Candidacy and the American Political Tradition
In mass democracies, candidates are indispensable links between citizens and their government. By organizing competition for power, they ensure that regimes operate with popular support. By articulating a platform, they provide outlets for dissent. By identifying unmet needs, they prod political institutions to innovate. It is hard to imagine...
3 Theories of Candidacy
If congressional candidates stand at the confluence of the broad political trends noted in the previous chapter, it remains to be seen how they act as causal agents in the American polity. In some respects, candidates seem to drive the electoral and institutional changes that have occurred in Congress over many generations; in other respects, they...
4 Candidates and Congressional Elections
By constitutional design and long practice, congressional elections have allowed the public to vent its feelings about the national government. Every two years, voters can use House and Senate elections as a referendum on the president's performance, the health of the economy, or the general state of the union, and they have availed themselves...
5 Candidates and Representation
Wherever there is representative democracy, there is potential for distorting the popular will. Bias comes not just from the delegation of authority or the process of collective deliberation, but also from the means of designating lawmakers. This was why early republics chose legislators by lot and why even today the principle of random selection...
6 Candidates and Organizational Change
One of the enduring features of the U.S. Congress is its capacity to adapt internally to new political trends while retaining substantial continuity with the past. A dynamic institution, Congress is constantly in a state of flux, even though at any given time it may seem firmly wedded to the status quo.1 This mix of rejuvenation and reaction...
Candidates are responsible for much of the continuity and dynamism in American politics. They energize electoral competition and articulate policy conflicts. They reflect dominant cleavages in the society and give voice to newly emergent partisan alignments and social groups. They mediate demands on institutions from the external political...
Page Count: 240
Illustrations: tables, figures
Publication Year: 1994
Series Title: Analytical Perspectives on Politics
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