Political Science & Public Administration

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Large partisan congressional “classes,” once common, have become more the exception than the rule over the past 60 years. Thus, when they come along, as in 1974 and 1994 (and perhaps 2010), they receive a lot of attention. Moreover, they often do help to change the institution of the House in dramatic ways. After a few years, all such classes lose their distinctiveness and meld into the legislative flow of the era. Still, these cohorts may have lasting effects in a host of ways, from movement into House power positions, to successful attempts to run for the Senate in large numbers, to the dispersion of many individuals into the Washington milieu of lobbyists and lawyers, where they can continue to affect policy. This article takes a first cut at how large partisan classes affect the institution of Congress, as well as at the careers of their individual members. Both the 1994 and 1974 cohorts were important as they burst upon the scene. Yet they have had differing impacts as the “long tail” of these classes continues to make a mark on politics and policy.

Publication/Presentation Information

Loomis, B. and Barnett, T.J. (2014). Thinking about my generation: The impact of large congressional cohorts. The Forum 12(3):499-517. DOI 10.1515/for-2014-5018



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