Party Influence in Congress

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Since then, however, more and more people have realized that the key to understanding factions in American political parties is to understand congressional primaries. Even though contested congressional primaries are rare and even though incumbent defeats in primaries are even more rare, factional divides within a party manifest themselves in primaries, and the existence of those factions shapes the behavior of members of Congress—even when they are not being directly challenged themselves. This report is divided into six parts below; read it in full by starting with the introduction, or jump to individual sections.

With a surge of candidates running in —2, total primary congressional candidates ran for office, an increase of nearly over the cycle—we have a massive dataset that reveals a lot about the state of American politics today.

By painstakingly coding data from campaign websites for incumbents, their challengers, and those running for open seats, we are able to examine just who is running in primary elections. Using this information, we break down candidates by gender, veteran status, ideological viewpoints, and more. Intraparty factions can have massive influence on the political landscape, whether it is the Tea Party on the right or the progressive wing led by Bernie Sanders on the left.

By focusing on the major factions that make up both parties in congressional primaries, we can see the divisions within parties and see how they might shed light on the divisions between parties. To try to get a better understanding of the various factions that arise in congressional primaries, we looked at how congressional candidates described themselves in terms of the most common intraparty groups. Burden , Barry C.

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Americans: Major Donors Sway Congress More Than Constituents

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After a Kidnapping, a Lifetime of Haunted Regret

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Count Cash & Make Change

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House: A Majority-Party Monopoly?

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How divided government affects lobbyist influence in Congress - LegBranch

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