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A Not-so-distant Mirror: the 17th Amendment and Congressional Change

Sara Brandes Crook and John R. Hibbing
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 91, No. 4 (Dec., 1997), pp. 845-853
DOI: 10.2307/2952168
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2952168
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Not-so-distant Mirror: the 17th Amendment and Congressional Change
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Abstract

At the beginning of the century, the Constitution was amended to permit direct election of U.S. senators. We examine the shift to determine the extent to which an electoral reform can result in meaningful change. Variables are analyzed that tap the Senate's membership and responsiveness before and after direct election, and House data are employed to control for history effects. The results indicate that changing the mode of senatorial selection did indeed lead to alterations in the composition and sensitivity of the Senate, a finding that should encourage caution regarding the electoral reforms being advocated at the end of the century.

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