Courting Constituents? An Analysis of the Senate Confirmation Vote on Justice Clarence Thomas

L. Marvin Overby, Beth M. Henschen, Michael H. Walsh, Julie Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


The increasing public attention paid to Supreme Court nominations has elevated the salience of Senate confirmation battles, raising interesting questions about the impact of constituency preferences on senators' voting behavior. In this article, we explore this relationship using a logistical regression model to examine the impacts of African-American constituency size and the proximity of reelection on the roll call behavior of senators on the Clarence Thomas confirmation vote. Our analyses indicate that these factors were both statistically and substantively significant in the Thomas case. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of such findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1003
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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