The year 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 17th Amendment. Let’s pausing to explore what the United States has gained from directly electing its senators.
Historians investigated the dynamics of Senate elections in the indirect system. Based on their results, they argue that the 17th Amendment produced a Senate that is less responsive to voters than under the indirect election system. They found similarities in Senate elections in the indirect age and today’s Senate in terms of the types of candidates that run, the role of money in elections, the influence of partisanship, and the nature of Senate ideological and legislative behavior.
Some of their main conclusions are the following:
Source: A Century Later: The Adoption of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Direct Election of Senators
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