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Elected representatives in congress.

Basically, you will need to read 20 pages and answer these questions below in an essay form please.

1- Statement of the issue – one or two sentences.

2- Review of the authors arguments – one or two paragraphs stating at least three major points made by

each author.

3- Comparison of arguments – at least one paragraph contrasting what each author had to say.

4 – Your opinion – at least one paragraph explaining either
a) why you agree with one of another, or
b)why you disagree with all the authors.

5- Discussion Question – an open ended question that you derive from the readings.


Chapter Summary
Statement of Issue

The paper revolves around one fundamental concept of the role of elected representatives
in congress. Most of the decisions made by the members of congress are solely of self- interest,
pursued to ensure re-election, a narrative practiced for many years by members of congress who
go against set policies and opinions of the general population (Canon, Coleman & Mayer, 2014).

Review and Comparison of Arguments

David Mayhew believes that most members of congress are self seekers and would only
engage in any activity that sees their re-election back in the House of Representatives. David
Mayhew notes that members of congress would use three main tactics to remain relevant so that
they can be re-elected back in Congress. These methods include use of advertising, position
taking and credit claiming. Advertising involves making appearances in public forums by
necessarily engaging in activities such as ribbon cutting ceremonies, speeches, interviews and
franking. Position taking involves using speeches or roll call votes to come out with a popular
position that changes certain policy. Certain laws become directly associated with them. Credit
claiming involves use of caseworks, pork and particularistic policies (Canon, Coleman & Mayer,
2014). May hew hold the view that Members of congress are never solely held or motivated
exclusively by their quest for re-election, but most behaviors that are shown by members of
congress portray all activities associated with re-election

Richard Fenno seeks to answer an important question regarding how elected
representative become affected by the views of the constituents and the general population.
Fenno identifies goals of a member of congress first before going to see how such behaviors may
influence the represented area and political area. Fenno notes that the major goal of members of
congress is re-election, good power policy and power in the congress.
Fenno argues that most of members of congress engage in different activities in their
home districts as compared to their behavior in Washington (Canon, Coleman & Mayer, 2014).
These are white Fenno refers to as home styles. They include categorizing people in different
circles. The broadest circle includes the largest geographical locations where the huge population
of different people. This encompasses all potential votes. The second circle encompass people
who would specifically vote for the member of congress while the third circle encompasses
people who would are primary supporters. The last circles include the immediate family
members, close friends and allies. This is where original decision are made and implemented.


Mayhew puts into perspective all factors that are considered by most political members
of congress in ensuring they remain relevant. Once a politician remains relevant for the entire
period they are in congress, it is more likely that they will be re-elected. However, their major
decisions will be solely based on all opinions that are accepted within the population, Mayhew
fails to mention some key critical issues associated with re-election such as parties and the
general attitude during an election (Canon, Coleman & Mayer, 2014). Fenn mentions how most
people cast their votes irrespective of the varying opinions among members of congress. In doing
so, Fenn establishes the more likely source that members of congress will use to get more power
to retain their seats.


Discussion Question

What is the relationship between opinions meted by members of Congress and their re-election



Canon, D., Coleman, J., & Mayer, K. (2014). The Enduring Debate: Classic and Contemporary
Readings in American Politics (Sixth Edition) 6th (6th ed.).

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