Spatial Models of Senate Elections
Journal of Theoretical Politics 20: 31-46, 2008
Abstract. Assuming strict two party competition, policy balancing models of the U.S. senate imply that senators from the same state will often be from opposite parties and have great ideological divergence. We analyze the effect of independent candidates on these implications. Our theoretical model implies the two state senators will generally not be from opposite parties and will be closer in ideological space than if they were elected under strict two party competition. Empirical analysis of senate composition from 1991-2002 supports the theory.
AWARDED GORDON TULLOCK PRIZE FOR BEST ARTICLE IN PUBLIC CHOICE BY YOUNGER SCHOLAR
Public Choice 118: 87-103, 2004
Abstract. The importance of primary elections is considered within the context of U.S. Senate elections where senators serve overlapping terms and voters are assumed to balance their two senators against each other. Voters behave strategically in the primaries but convergence to the median position is not achieved except as a knife-edge result. More generally, constraints in the party space prevent the party of the sitting senator from obtaining the median’s preference allowing the opposition party to nominate a candidate further away from the median while still capturing the median voter. Empirical evidence supports the notion that senate divergence is a function of the state primary system.
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 46: 441-444, 2001
Abstract. Reply to a Comment by Swank (2001) on article below.
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 42, 97-108, 2000
Abstract. This paper presents a model in which voters attempt to balance the ideological positions of their senate representatives. Candidate positions are determined endogenously through a primary system. The median voter theorem is applied in each election to determine winning platforms based on voter preferences which may differ from their individual bliss points. Contrary to the original median voter theorem, the main implications of this model are that: (i) convergence on platform positions is not achieved in the general election, and (ii) extremist candidates defeat moderates in the stable long-run equilibrium.