Ellie Stimmel Estimmel9636 10/24/17
Congressmen and senators vote a certain way for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is for re-election. Although this is not what the average American would like to think, it is true that, overall, members of Congress’s main goal is to gain re-election in order to further the interests of their constituents and their own ideological views. Congressmen, specifically, are especially eager to gain re-election votes due to their short two year terms. However, all members of Congress vote due to several factors. The first is their constituents’ interests, second is logrolling, and third is ideological viewpoints. These factors can be viewed in both a negative and positive light.
Legislators have many unique constituents including interest groups, lobby groups and corporations, and average voting citizens of their home state. Members of Congress gain their votes from their home state, which is why they tend to focus on issues that affect their state most prominently. For example, representatives for Iowa may join committees on agricultural issues, while representatives from Texas and California may focus on immigration and urban issues. Interest and lobby groups influence legislators greatly because they provide PAC’s and large campaign contributes which are essential to the candidate’s re-election. However, average American citizens are the actual voters who will decide if they favor what their representative did while in office or not. This may result in legislators endorsing pork barrel projects and acting as more of a delegate than a trustee for their state. As Fenno stated, “representatives spend more time at home than people think and “we can never understand his Washington activity without also understanding his perception of his various constituencies and the home style he uses to cultivate their support.” (Fenno, 164)
Logrolling also plays an important...