Re-examining the role of Southern Democrats: an analysis of the southern advantage in Congress between 1947 and 1992 and its effect on conditional party government Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Johnson, Adam A.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • The traditional story of the Congressional literature tells us that institutional forces shaped the shift in power between Northern and Southern Democrats in the 1970s. Specifically, past work suggests that Democratic Party reforms weakened the Southern Democrats by depriving them of leadership positions. This paper argues that electoral replacement was much more likely the engine of change. Northern Democrats did take control of the Congressional Committees in the 1970s, but that transition was a quarter decade long transition in the making rather than a skilled political maneuver. A secondary analysis contributes to our understanding of the Democratic Caucus in the House by examining how Southern Democrats came to establish their base of power prior to the 1960s. Using an Event History Analysis, the conclusion here is that Southern Democrats enjoyed a substantially more favorable electoral environment which contributed to their enhanced seniority over time.
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  • In Copyright
  • Engstrom, Eric J.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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