Constituency-oriented representatives account for approximately half the House Republicans. This chapter identifies and analyzes the three constituency-oriented factions in the party—Stalwarts, Provincials, and Placeholders—in the same manner as the policy-oriented factions were examined in the previous chapter.
As noted previously, the distinction between a representative's interest in policy issues or constituency matters is common in congressional research. The dividing line in this analysis is legislative activity, placing those members with above-average legislative activity into policy-oriented groups, and those with below-average legislative activity into constituency-oriented groups. This is, of course, an imperfect division. Policy activists might not be active legislatively, especially if these activists viewed the legislative process in a Democratic House as essentially illegitimate. Conversely, constituency-oriented members may be active in seeking particularistic benefits for local constituents. As such, the labels do not capture all the nuances of the basic division. Alternatively, policy activists could easily be categorized as national‐ issue representatives, and constituency-oriented members described as local-issue members. Given the limitations of any one label, the policy versus constituency distinction is chosen as the most appropriate for this study although the issue versus local distinction is used as well.
Table 5.1 shows greater stability in the relative strength of these factions over time, far different than the pattern for the policy factions. Stalwarts and Provincials retain as much relative influence in the 103rd Congress as in the 97th Congress, although Stalwarts declined as a