Boomers, Silents still have most seats in Congress

Powell, who has studied the matter since 1995, told the subcommittee that term limits had not led to a significant increase in citizen-legislators, nor to a decrease in career-oriented politicians.

Instead, she found that in states with term limits politicians often ran simply for another office. Powell discovered no differences in demographic composition between term limit newcomers and other newcomers when it came to politicians’ level of education, income, age, race, gender, occupation, ideology, and ideological extremism.

Term limits did, however, have an immediate effect on legislator behavior.

“We found that members in term limit chambers spent less time on keeping in touch with their constituents, on casework, and on pork,” said Powell. Yet, there was no difference between term limit and non-term limit chambers when it came to time spent on campaigning and fundraising.

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