Why did Speaker of the House John Boehner face the largest intraparty challenge to an incumbent speaker in over 150 years in January 2015? Goal salience theory will be used to explain this event. In addition, since this protest took place during the public vote for speaker and not during a private caucus, every vote in a leadership challenge can be examined for the first time. While the conventional view of leadership elections is that policy differences can fuel campaigns, this article argues that procedure is also important. Since it appears that the revolt was against the policies and practices of the speaker, party unity is hypothesized to impact the vote. Analysis supports this and other hypotheses, suggesting that goal salience theory is useful when modeling votes for speaker.
"Boehner versus the GOP: Examining the 2015 Vote for Speaker of the House,"
Journal of Ideology: Vol. 37:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/ji/vol37/iss1/4