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Andrea C. Hatcher, "A Man for All Seasons: Partisan Constraints on U.S. Senate Majority Leaders," Party Politics, 16 (May 2010), 323-346. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol16/issue3/ ]

First paragraph:
Does representing a party differ from representing a constituency? Does being a Leader shape being a legislator? Studies have illuminated the functions and operations of leadership as an outcome variable but have not acknowledged that leadership may be an explanatory variable as well; this inquiry does both. That is, leadership behaviour, while important for its own sake, may tell us about the Leader as legislator. Leading a party may affect representing a constituency. This article is a step toward filling the void in party leadership studies with an examination of the roll-call voting behaviour of U.S. Senate Majority Leaders from the emergence of the office in the 63rd Congress (1913)1 through the 108th Congress (2005).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. U.S. Senate Majority Leaders, 1913-present
Figure 1. U.S. Senate Majority Leaders: at first congress
Figure 2. U.S. Senate Majority Leaders: at selection
Figure 3. Republican Senate Majority Leaders: voting behaviour as Leader
Figure 4. Democratic Senate Majority Leaders: voting behaviour as Leader
Figure 5. Career voting changes of Senate Majority Leaders
Figure 6. Immediate voting change of Senate Majority Leaders
Table 2. OLS estimates of Leader voting behaviour

Last Paragraph:
The findings presented in this study clearly challenge and modify Peabody's (1976) and others' like assumptions that, if not at selection, then as Leader, they 'soon become' middlemen within their parties. Instead, Senate Majority Leaders occupy the median (often exactly so) early in their career and at their selection as Majority Leader, but drift from their party's mid-point as Leader. Rather than the convergence theory described by Peabody (1976) and Sullivan (1975), (and Matthews [1960] before), it appears that Senate Majority Leaders follow a pattern of divergence. They begin their senatorial career at or near the mean and median, but throughout their period of party leadership they drift toward their party's extreme. For Majority Leaders, then, majority matters, and these findings thus add meaning to the title of the U.S. Senate's foremost office.

Last updated May 2010