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A Longitudinal Analysis of Competing Explanations for the Transformation of Southern Congressional Politics
Kenny J. Whitby and Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 53, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 504-518
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Southern Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2131770
Page Count: 15
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This study analyzes the voting behavior of southern members of the House during the Ninety-first through One-hundredth Congresses. We build upon the literature regarding constituency influence and congressional voting to account for more liberal voting records on civil rights measures by southern Democratic incumbents. Our primary hypothesis is that long-term Democratic incumbents have altered their voting patterns due in part to the mobilization and empowerment of the southern black electorate. Additionally, we explore competing accounts for this trend which focus upon generational replacement and party succession. Finally, we discuss the implications of our research for theories of representative government as well as concerns about electoral politics in the American South.
The Journal of Politics © 1991 The University of Chicago Press