The 115th congress and questions of party unity in a polarized era

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14 Scopus citations


Given the size of their majorities and their level of voting cohesion, Republicans in the 115th Congress saw unified government under President Trump as a historic opportunity to enact their party’s priorities. Yet the legislative record of the 115th Congress has been less impressive than that of other recent majority parties in control of unified government. This article considers why a party that seemed so well positioned to deliver on its agenda has struggled to do so. It argues that the 115th Congress’s modest level of legislative achievement reflects a majority party that is much less internally unified on policy than its roll-call voting cohesion would suggest. The case of the 115th Congress invites scholars to reexamine their reliance on vote-based measures of party unity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1464-1473
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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