BRIAN D. POSLER AND CARL M. RHODES
Pre-Leadership Signaling in the U.S. House
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXII:351-68

This research note builds on the work of scholars who have identified the importance of ideological and partisan criteria in the selection of congressional leaders. Viewing leadership selection as a problem of agency, we develop a framework for conceptualizing how ideology and partisanship affect leadership selection. Testing the framework on House leaders from 1875-1987, we find substantial variation between the two parties. While Republican leaders conform to the "core" hypothesis, Democratic leaders behave in accordance with the "polarizer" hypothesis. We conclude by suggesting that these interparty differences are the result of varying levels of intraparty heterogeneity.