Party Campaign Activity and Party Unity
in the U.S. House of Representatives
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXII:393-415

This study investigates the relationships between party campaign activity and party unity in the House of Representatives. Using data from the 1984 and 1992 elections and the 99th and 103d Congresses, we find little support for the hypothesis that previous party unity influences the distribution of party money or assistance in campaign management, fundraising, or communications. There is also little support for the hypothesis that party spending, campaign assistance, or recruitment efforts lead to greater party unity on normal roll-call votes. Nevertheless, Democratic candidates who receive substantial assistance in developing their campaign messages are more likely than others to vote with their party on key votes. Overall, the results show that U.S. political parties are more election than policy oriented.