Congressional leadership 1965-96 : a new look at the extremism versus centrality debate

Grofman, B and Koetzle, W and McGann, AJ (2002) Congressional leadership 1965-96 : a new look at the extremism versus centrality debate. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 27 (1). pp. 87-105. ISSN 0362-9805

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Abstract

An examination of the differences between the ideological positions of leaders and other members in the U.S. House of Representatives (1965-96) demonstrates that Republican leaders tend to be significantly to the right of the median Republican member and Democratic leaders tend to be significantly to the left of the median Democratic member. Furthermore, leaders from both parties tend to be ideologically located near the mode of their party's ideological distribution. These empirical results have implications for issues such as party polarization, conditional party government, and the possibility of separating out party and ideology.