SAGE Journal Articles
Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.
Abstract: Political scientists have demonstrated the importance of lawmakers’ identities, showing that race, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation affect legislative and representational behavior. Is the same true for age? We argue it is, but the effect is conditioned by the salience of different “senior issues.” Analyzing the bill introductions by members of Congress during the 109th and 110th Congresses, we show that older lawmakers are more likely to introduce legislation addressing lower salience senior issues than their younger colleagues. In contrast, sizeable senior constituencies in a district influence lawmaker attention to higher salience senior issues, regardless of a lawmaker’s age. These findings have implications for our understanding of senior power and personal roots of representation in the United States.
Abstract: We examine public attitudes about one of the most visible procedural features of Congress, the Senate’s filibuster and cloture practice. We measure the stability of those attitudes during an important legislative episode, relate them to more abstract attitudes about majority rule and minority rights, and draw inferences about the importance of those attitudes for evaluations of the parties and vote intention for the 2010 elections. We find that filibuster attitudes change in ways predicted by respondents’ partisan and policy preferences. Moreover, controlling for party identification, ideology, policy views, and attitudes about majority rule and minority rights in the abstract, filibuster attitudes have modest, asymmetric effects on party evaluations but no effect on vote intention.