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American and Texas Government Notes

by: Miku Stone

American and Texas Government Notes POSC 10133

Marketplace > Texas Christian University > Social Science > POSC 10133 > American and Texas Government Notes
Miku Stone
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These notes are from two articles. The first article analyzes growing partisanship in the unicameral Nebraska legislature. The second article analyzes political competition during elections from...
American and Texas Government
Dr. Grant Ferguson
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Miku Stone on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 10133 at Texas Christian University taught by Dr. Grant Ferguson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see American and Texas Government in Social Science at Texas Christian University.

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Date Created: 02/14/16
American and Texas Government Polarization Without Parties: Term Limits and Legislative Partisanship in Nebraska's Unicameral Legislature Nebraska has unicameral legislature. Only state w/ unicameral legislature. Nonpartisan polarization occurring within past decade-happening more rapidly than any legislature in any state in the nation Term limits imposed in past decade have contributed to polarization ¼ of chamber turned out of the office after each term Sharp rise in donor partisanship Legislature once disorganized, but has become more organized recently Nominations key to party control Parties are the key to solving problems. They help with voter turnout, strengthen public reputation, fulfill campaign promises When partisan actors are inhibited by institutions, legislators will sideline these individuals and focus on their constituency during the general election 2 American states with nonpartisanship legislature: Nebraska (1937-prese: Nebraska (1937-present) and Minnesota Governor of Nebraska believed that bicameral legislature is expensive and incompetent. Stated this during Great Depression. Nonpartisan=no party leaders or whips Nebraska legislators limited to 2 four year terms. Turns out incumbents. Like Texas, Republicans and Democrats get along with each other quite well Term limits were an advantage to one individual as potential for aggressive recruitment. Dave Heinman elected to governor's office in 2005 around the time term limits were imposed. Republicans and democrats are connected via elite donors. 6 independent variables used to show that two candidates can be connected to each other via a donor. For example, 2 candidates can be from Lincoln/Omaha, rural towns, or one is urban one lives in an urban area & one lives in a rural area. Nebraska received shock in middle of 20th century and it is unlikely to return to nonpartisan principles. Why has Nebraska's antiparty stance worked for so long while other states have overcome that hurdle quite quickly? Candidates can run in primaries w/o having their party label appearing on the ballot. Competitiveness in State Legislative Elections: 1972-2014 Competitiveness helps officials stay true to the people that they are representing. Re-elections= legislators lose touch with what their constituency wants. Incumbents can insulate themselves from losing elections and incentive to be true with the people that they are representing will not be presentent. Decline w/ races featuring incumbents. People who agree with each other and are in the same party tend to live in the same geographic area Competitiveness: percentage of marginal elections=won by 5% or less Power/importance of a legislator=relative number of people they represent. So an election in California where the legislator represents a lot more people than an election in New Hampshire has more impact 2014 elections=lowest level of competitiveness Until 1960s South controlled by democrat party. Very uncompetitive region. Mini alignment happened and as Democrats lost ground in the South, competitiveness did increase. After transitioning to Republican viewpoints, the South lost competitiveness once again. Wave elections see more competitiveness. If one party sees a competitive primary, the other party does not have a competitive primary. Competitive primary may mean a general election w/o that much competition. Concerns over uncontested elections: where only one member of a single party is running. Winner known in advance. Incumbent might not have incentives to be responsive. State legislative primaries show a lot lower competition than those at the general election level Incumbents were an upward trend until the 1980s. In 1996 there were laws passed that restricted how long a legislator could serve. U.S. Senate elections more competitive than those of the U.S. House Gubernatorial elections are held more commonly during midterm


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