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Ideological Moderates Won't Run: How Party Fit Matters for Partisan Polarization in Congress

dc.contributor.author Thomsen, DM
dc.date.accessioned 2014-07-10T16:17:38Z
dc.date.issued 2014-06
dc.identifier.issn 0022-3816
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8931
dc.description.abstract Scholars have focused on elite-level and mass-level changes to explain partisan polarization in Congress. This article offers a candidate entry explanation for the persistence of polarization and the rise in asymmetric polarization. The central claim is that ideological conformity with the party—what I call party fit—influences the decision to run for office, and I suggest that partisan polarization in Congress has discouraged ideological moderates in the pipeline from pursuing a congressional career. I test this hypothesis with a survey of state legislators and with ideology estimates of state legislators who did and did not run for Congress from 2000 to 2010. I find that liberal Republican and conservative Democratic state legislators are less likely to run for Congress than those at the ideological poles, though this disparity is especially pronounced among Republicans. The findings provide an additional explanation for recent patterns of polarization in Congress.
dc.language English
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press
dc.relation.ispartof The Journal of Politics
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1017/S0022381614000243
dc.subject Partisan Polarization
dc.subject U.S. Congress
dc.subject Party Fit
dc.subject Candidate Emergence
dc.title Ideological Moderates Won't Run: How Party Fit Matters for Partisan Polarization in Congress
dc.type Journal article
duke.contributor.id Thomsen, DM|0636666
pubs.begin-page 786
pubs.end-page 797
pubs.issue 3
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Faculty
pubs.publication-status Published
pubs.volume 76
dc.identifier.eissn 1468-2508


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