The Presidency, Congress, and Divided Government: A Postwar by Richard S. Conley

By Richard S. Conley

Can presidents desire to be powerful in coverage making while Congress is governed by way of the opposite get together? Political scientist Richard Conley brings to this significant dialogue a clean point of view. He argues persuasively that the stipulations of divided executive have replaced in recent times, and he applies a rigorous technique that enables the trying out of a couple of very important assumptions approximately celebration keep watch over of the legislative approach and the function of the president.

Conley demonstrates that fresh administrations have confronted a really assorted taking part in box than these within the prior post-war years as a result of such severe advancements in electoral politics as lowering presidential coattails and the inability of presidential acceptance in competition participants’ districts. additionally, he identifies a number of alterations within the institutional surroundings in Congress that experience affected either the legislative luck premiums of presidents’ courses and the techniques presidents pursue. those institutional components comprise extra assertive legislative majorities, adjustments in management constitution, and elevated social gathering team spirit in voting.

Conley makes use of either case reviews and complex time-series regression analyses to ascertain the ground luck of presidential projects, the recommendations presidents use in operating with the legislature, and using veto strength to accomplish presidential aims.

Scholars of the presidency and people attracted to the bigger American political strategy will locate during this booklet either nutrients for suggestion and a version of analytic sophistication.

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46 To the degree that presidents could read the political landscape on Capitol Hill, link with key power brokers, and wed their policy objectives to alternating congressional coalitions, they could claim a modicum of legislative success in times of both unified and divided government. Party control of national institutions was less salient for presidents because fewer votes consistently pitted a majority of one party against a majority of the other from ‒ as compared to later decades (fig. ).

The liberal activist era from approximately ‒ comprised substantial legislative innovation and internal reform in Congress over an extended period. Lyndon’s Johnson’s landslide electoral victory ushered in the liberal activist era. ”88 This era spanned the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and a portion of Jimmy Carter’s term, with presidential leverage varying rather significantly. The Johnson and Carter experiences under unified government are contrasting cases of positive presidential leverage in this era.

Presidential success on floor outcomes diminished considerably during periods of divided government at the century’s end.  show Fig. 7 Divided Government: Presidential Floor Success and Positions in Support of Legislation, House of Representatives Source: Calculated by the author from Congressional Quarterly Almanacs. Party Control and Presidential Leverage JFK/LBJ 100 90 DDE LBJ JFK LBJ JEC 90 95 80 WJC JEC Percent 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 83 87 88 89 96 103 Congress VictoryRatio Support Rate Fig.

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