The Effects of Party Advantage on the Partisan Support
of New U.S. House Members
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXV:53-73

We argue that the partisan voting patterns of new members of the House of Representatives are affected by national political conditions. New members of a party advantaged by national forces should exhibit distinctively partisan voting patterns, while new members of the disadvantaged party should not. We use a comparative statics research design to examine eight congresses with large numbers of new members that were also characterized by different national forces. Multivariate OLS models of party support are used to isolate the effects of first-term status while controlling for other factors that might influence a memberís willingness to support his or her party. We find that national forces have the expected general effect on the partisan support of new members of the advantaged party, and that the size of that effect varies with the particular character of the national forces.

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