The Southern Seventeenth Amendment Swing

Full Thesis Here


Crook & Hibbing (1997) and others argue that the Seventeenth Amendment and the institution of the direct election of Senators have made the Senate more responsive. To make this argument, previous research compares the direct and indirect election time periods before and after the Seventeenth Amendment. Instead this work creates counterfactual, indirectly elected Senates since 1918. Swing-ratio models using the actual Senate election returns are applied to the factual and counterfactual Senates to compare their levels of responsiveness. Similar to previous research, direct elections are found to be more responsive than indirect elections nationwide. However a central finding of this work is that this increased responsiveness is largely attributable to elections in the south.

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