The price of success : unified government and midterm elections
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] A commonly observed fact about midterm elections is that the president's party almost always loses seats in the House of Representatives. Several frameworks have been proposed to explain why this occurs. While these frameworks consider the impact of the president's party, they do not consider how the relationship between the president and Congress affects midterm elections. In my study, I fill this void. I focus on the effect unified government has on midterm elections. Rather than propose a new framework, I use unified government to show strengths and weaknesses in previous frameworks. My study shows certain frameworks are not valid and may need to be discarded. I also show how other frameworks are improved by considering the effect of unified government and how others may need to be reformulated based on the effect of unified government. I further test the validity of my theory be examining unified government's effect in state legislative elections. Besides showing that unified government should be considered when examining midterm elections, I also show how unified government changes midterm election outcomes.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.