May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. Congress: The Electoral Connection. Mayhew, David . If it is assumed that Members of Congress (MCs) are single-minded seekers of Mayhew. Congress: The electoral connection. DAVID MAYHEW. From Congress:The Electoral Connection. Congressional scholar David Mayhew admits from the start that his expla- nation for the motivation.

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In the United States, Congress members rather than parties are the ones who drive the electoral politics; in this process a lot of resources and time are put into the electoral connection. The Electoral Connection is a book by David Mayhew that applies rational choice theory to the actions of American Congressmen. According to Mayhew, the best strategy for Congress members in position taking is to be conservative; they should stick to the position they already know and approach new ones very cautiously.

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When I was in graduate school several years ago, my friends and I would routinely share our reading notes with one another. Skip to main content. Mayhew’s model rests on the assumption that all members of congress are single-minded seekers of reelection. When voting on specifics issues members are closely observed by the electorates and interest groups, who later decided to reward or punish members for taking that position Mayhew, Mayhew expands on his case by describing three reelection techniques that Congress members use in order to remain in office: Log In Sign Up.

Mayhew claims that the book is theoretical; it pursues an argument and considers the implications for exploratory purposes. This way they not only augment the chances of reelection; but for example- those Representatives who want to pursue a career in the Senate, is an opportunity to be known beyond the district.

It is also the goal that must be reached in order for any other goals legislation to be achieved.

Summary of Mayhew: Congress – From WikiSummary, free summaries of academic books and articles

At the end, the prime goal for both Senators and House members will always be reelection. Toward a more general theory of regulation Weisberg, Heberlig, and Campoli: This United States Congress —related article is a stub. Eventually, I dumped them into this site to make them more searchable and accessible. Please report inappropriate ads.


Congress has become a place where member look for a political career rather than to serve the people; in order to stay in office Senators and House members engage in connectipn activities that serve as a platform for reelection.

While House member enjoy freely the privilege of sending mail to their constituents, senators do not. He argues that congerss of Congress only care about themselves and that everything they do while in office revolves around reelection.

Maintained but not written by Adam Brown. This mindset affects how they gather support, interact with interest groups, make policy, virtually everything within Congress and on Capitol Hill. Thus they find it more comfortable to be on television – for example, giving a small statement on the news.

Politicians get “reward for taking positions rather than achieving effects” [7]. They may claim to be responsible for drafting a legislation conggess helped fix the economy, but hardly anyone will believe them.

The Electoral Connection 2 ed. I found that the only edits came from spambots, though, so I eventually turned off the editing features.

Congress: The Electoral Connection

For a review of where research on Congressional elections has gone in the years since Mayhew’s book, see Jacobson Views Read Edit View history. In the meantime, you can use these summaries to benefit from the efforts of a previous generation of doctoral students.

We do not endorse services that facilitate plagiarism. Classics in Congressional politics. Advertising offer Senators mayhwe House members the ability to get their names disseminated among voters; there is no limit to how far their names can be spread Senators beyond the state.

It is now a static website. Mayhew uses pieces from Anthony Downs’s and Richard Fenno ‘s works to build his own argument and present his own rational choice model rhe members of Congress. Congress has become a professionalized institution, where members seek not to benefit the party but to build a professional career and advance in office; thus the prime goal becomes reelection.

Remember me on this computer. Other members opt for less dxvid ways, such as popping in uninvited at events or playing DJ in their own radio show Mayhew He argues that the structure of Congress offers members the ability to pursue these activities; committees, staff, salaries congrews parties serve the electoral needs of all Congress members Mayhew 7. Congress is a place where members aim for the opportunity to build a political career; when they get there they want to stay.


Only about half of the electorate when asked can name their House representatives; in the long haul it is favorable to be known Mayhew Mayhew does not actually claim that MCs are motivated exclusively by reelection; conmection goal is only to deduce the behaviors that we would expect if this thw were true–behaviors, incidentally, which conform closely to reality.

In position taking, congressmen play the role of speakers rather than doer; the big idea is not to a rewarding job, but rather make a judgmental statement, Mayhew argued Mayhew This is electorao early rational choice analysis of Congressional elections.

Elextoral argues that position taking statements can be clearly expressed, such as voting against a bill, or implicit, like a statement supporting the president on a particular issue.

Second there is a lack of information when it comes to Capitol Hill; few voters know how it actually operates thus is difficult for them to know whether the claims are valid or not. According to Mayhew, members will always have new voters to assess their capabilities and old voters to be reminded of such Mayhew Yet, in bigger matters that require legislative action, it is much harder for member of Congress to benefit from credit claiming, after all the claims must be believable.

If it is assumed that Members of Congress MCs are single-minded seekers of reelection, then we would predict that MCs would devote substantial resources to three basic activities: In the process, they must highlight their majhew, knowledge, responsiveness, concern, sincerity, and independence.

Tje of their access to the media Senators put more emphasis on position taking; House members spend more time on the distribution of particularized benefits Mayhew He references the decreasing turnover rate of congressmen as evidence for the transition to full-time politicians interested in advancing their careers.