Keeping your friends close : how the House Freedom Caucus organized for survival

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2017-11-01

Authors

McGee, Zachary Alden

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Abstract

Polarization of the two parties in the U.S. House is clear, but the intraparty homogeneity required for different theories of party government has faded. Party leaders have responded to this new factional insurgence with punishment. In this paper I ask how insurgent factions survive powerful parties and their leaders. By examining the member-to-member contribution networks of House Republicans from 2013-2016, I find an active and defensive House Freedom Caucus (HFC), whose members support one another more than they support other House Republicans. And, I show how HFC members create an independent fundraising network to insulate themselves from partisan retribution.

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