a1 Baruch College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
a2 Fordham University
The results of the 2010 congressional elections were indeed historic. The loss of 63 seats by the Democrats was the biggest electoral loss by any party since 1948, making the more recent 1994 and 2006 turnovers pale by comparison. The question that political scientists naturally ask after an event of this magnitude is—why? This article addresses this question by analyzing the role played by the public's attitudes toward Congress.
David R. Jones is a professor of political science at the City University of New York, Baruch College. His research on congressional behavior and elections has been published in several scholarly journals. He is the author of Political Parties and Policy Gridlock in American Government (2001) and coauthor of Americans, Congress, and Democratic Responsiveness: Public Evaluations of Congress and Electoral Consequences (2009). He can be reached at [email protected].
Monika L. McDermott is an associate professor of political science at Fordham University. She has published numerous scholarly articles on voting behavior, political psychology, and public opinion and is the coauthor of Americans, Congress, and Democratic Responsiveness: Public Evaluations of Congress and Electoral Consequences (2009). She regularly serves as an election and polling consultant for CBS News. She can be reached at [email protected].