“Follow the Leaders: Policy Presentation in the U.S. Congress”
Chair: Kris Miller, UMD
Committee: Frances Lee, Princeton University; Stella Rouse, UMD; Ernesto Calvo, UMD; Philip Resnik, UMD 

Download here.

Abstract: In the modern Congress, rank-and-file members are increasingly removed from the legislative process, relying on congressional leaders for guidance to discuss major legislative decisions with their constituents. This expectation of provided policy narratives, which I refer to as “policy presentation,” has become an institutionalized responsibility for party and committee leaders. I utilize a mixed methods analysis, including computational text analysis, elite interviews, and observational data to document policy presentation and the conditions under which it occurs. This book-length project captures an undocumented responsibility of congressional leaders, contributing to the literature on congressional centralization, partisanship, and political communication.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Safarpour, A. C., Gaynor, S. W., Rouse, S. M. Swers, M. When Women Run, Voters Will Follow (Sometimes): Examining the Mobilizing Effect of Female Candidates in the 2014 and 2018 Midterm Elections. (2022). Political Behavior. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-021-09767-x

Gaynor, S. W. The (Financial) Ties That Bind: Social Networks of Intraparty Caucuses, Gaynor, S. W. (2021). Legislative Studies Quarterly. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/lsq.12360

Gaynor, S. W. & Gimpel, J. G. (2021) Small Donor Contributions in Response to Email Outreach by a Political Campaign, Journal of Political Marketing, DOI: 10.1080/15377857.2021.1910611

Gaynor, S. W., & Gimpel, J. G. (2021). Reapportioning the US Congress: The shifting geography of political influence. Political Geography86, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2021.102365

Wyckoff, S., & Lee, F. E. (2020). Advice for Women and Their Colleagues: An Interview with Frances E. Lee. PS: Political Science & Politics, 53(2), 310-312. DOI: 10.1017/S1049096519002129

Book Chapters, Articles, and Reports

Gaynor, S. W., “Here’s how Republican and Democratic party leaders reward the faithful and punish wayward members”, The Monkey Cage: Washington Post, Dec. 14, 2021.

Gaynor, S. W., “Congress and External Influencers: Interest Groups, Activists, and Media.” Congress Explained, Burgat, C. and Hunt, C. Sage Press, forthcoming 2022.

U.S. Congress. House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Final Report. Washington: U.S. Government Publishing Office, October 2020. (1009-E). (Y 4.2:M 72/R 29). Lead Author, with support from the American Political Science Association Public Service Fellowship. https://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo146079.

Wyckoff, S. (2017). “Should Congressional Incumbents be Concerned About the 2018 Midterm Elections?“, Center for American Politics and Citizenship, University of Maryland. Download the full report here.

Working Papers

“New Lines, New Districts, and New Representation: State Decisions in Congressional Reapportionment”, with Sam Hayes (Boston College). Invited to revise and resubmit.

“Express Yourself (Ideologically): Legislators’ Ideal Points Across Audiences” with Kris Miller, Pranav Goel, Alexander M. Hoyle, and Philip Resnik. Under review.

“Money Talks: How donor activity predicts US legislators’ attention to political speech”, with Pranav Goel, Nikolay Malkin, Nobojsa Jojic, Kristina Miler, and Philip Resnik. Under review.

“Expanding Grassroots Support through Social Media Outreach in a Political Campaign” with Jim Gimpel. Invited to revise and resubmit.

“Following the leaders: Asymmetric policy presentation in the U.S. Congress”

“Bringing Home the Committee Hearing: Analysis of Field Hearings in the U.S. Congress”


Replication files via GitHub
Replication files for “Financial Ties that Bind”, LSQ Dataverse

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