The Impact of Presidential Campaigning for Congress on Presidential Support in the U.S. House of Representatives

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Abstract

Presidential influence is partly a function of the partisan, economic, and international context within which the president governs. Presidents are, however, more than bystanders relying on the political milieu for policy opportunities. Recent scholarship demonstrates that presidents consciously influence this milieu and build political capital by campaigning for congressional candidates. We contribute to this literature by assessing the effects of presidential campaigning on legislative support for two presidents who governed under extremely dissimilar circumstances: Bill Clinton in the 106th Congress and George W. Bush in the 108th Congress. We find evidence of campaign effects on congressional policymaking during both administrations.

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