Issue Politics in Congress

Issue Politics in Congress

by Tracy Sulkin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521855217

ISBN-13: 9780521855211

Pub. Date: 10/31/2005

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Do representatives and senators respond to the critiques raised by their challengers? This study, one of the first to explore how legislators' experiences as candidates shape their subsequent behavior as policy makers, demonstrates that they do. Winning legislators regularly take up their challengers' priority issues from the last campaign and act on them in office, a…  See more details below

Overview

Do representatives and senators respond to the critiques raised by their challengers? This study, one of the first to explore how legislators' experiences as candidates shape their subsequent behavior as policy makers, demonstrates that they do. Winning legislators regularly take up their challengers' priority issues from the last campaign and act on them in office, a phenomenon called "issue uptake." This attentiveness to their challengers' issues reflects a widespread and systematic yet largely unrecognized mode of responsiveness in the U.S. Congress, but it is one with important benefits for the legislators who undertake it and for the health and legitimacy of the representative process. Because challengers focus their campaigns on their opponents' weaknesses, legislators' subsequent uptake of these issues helps to inoculate them against future attacks and brings new and salient issues to the congressional agenda. This book provides fresh insight into questions regarding the electoral connection in legislative behavior, the role of campaigns and elections, and the nature and quality of congressional representation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521855211
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2005
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

1Electoral challenges and legislative responsiveness1
2A theory of issue uptake19
3The nature of campaign and legislative agendas43
4Assessing uptake71
5Who responds? : explaining individual variation in uptake89
6Patterns of responsiveness in Congress114
7The electoral impacts of uptake128
8Uptake and public policy150
9Elections, governance, and representation167

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