Senate Republican leadership in tough times

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The US Senate is a diffuse and individualistic body that is notoriously hard to lead. Somewhat ironically, the job of the Senate Minority Leader on Capitol Hill today is probably easier than that of his majority counterpart, since the Minority Leader is largely absolved of the expectation that a party policy agenda can actually be passed through a chamber where it is far easier for the minority party to obstruct legislation. During the 110th Congress Mitch McConnell proved quite a successful Minority Leader in terms of unifying his party, command of Senate procedures and using those procedures for party advantage. Despite his successes in frustrating the Senate Democrats, McConnell was unable to overcome the deep unpopularity of his fellow Republican, President George W. Bush, and of the Republican Party in general. As a result the Senate GOP appears certain to suffer further losses in the 2008 elections, thereby demonstrating the disconnect between effective leadership inside the Senate chamber and electoral success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalForum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 9 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Leadership
  • McConnell
  • Minority
  • Republican
  • Senate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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