The Governorship-Senate Connection: A Step in the Structure of Opportunities Grows Weaker

Codispoti, Frank
March 1987
Publius: The Journal of Federalism;Spring87, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p41
Academic Journal
Ambition theory posits a relationship between the office goals of politicians and their political behavior. The goals are assumed to be structured by a hierarchy of offices. Any change in the relationships among offices would affect our expectations of the behavior of those in the offices. This article reports on one such change. The linkage between the governorships and seats in the U.S. Senate is apparently growing weaker. A theory of progressive ambition is used to specify a set of variables that affect governors' decisions to run for the Senate. The change in the governors' tenure potential—namely, the increase in the length of their terms and the number of terms the governors are allowed to serve—is shown to be the variable that has affected governors' decisions to run for the Senate.


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