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Electing the SenateIndirect Democracy before the Seventeenth Amendment$
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Wendy J. Schiller and Charles Stewart III

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163161

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163161.001.0001

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Senate Electoral Responsiveness under Indirect and Direct Election

Senate Electoral Responsiveness under Indirect and Direct Election

Chapter:
(p.157) Chapter 6 Senate Electoral Responsiveness under Indirect and Direct Election
Source:
Electing the Senate
Author(s):

Wendy J. Schiller

Charles Stewart III

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691163161.003.0006

This chapter integrates findings on indirect elections with current scholarship on the impact of the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment and onset of direct elections. It constructs a comprehensive counterfactual analysis that helps demonstrate what the political outcomes would have been with direct elections in place since the founding, and in contrast, what Senate elections would look like after 1913 if indirect elections were still in place. It also addresses the question of whether U.S. senators represented states as units and responded to state governmental concerns more under the indirect system than they do under direct elections. It argues that indirect election had little impact on the Senate's overall partisan composition prior to 1913. Contrary to widespread belief, had direct election been in effect during the years immediately preceding the Seventeenth Amendment's passage, Republicans, not Democrats, would have benefited.

Keywords:   senators, U.S. Senate, indirect elections, Seventeenth Amendment, partisanship, direct election

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