Five-term Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) passed away today. Under my former home state New Jersey law, the special election to fill the empty seat will happen in November 2013, which is the regularly scheduled general election for governor and the state legislature. Until then, Governor Chris Christie (R) gets to appoint a replacement.
Naturally, given the tight division of seats between the parties in Congress, and many important battles left to fight until November, speculation has already begun about Christie’s choice. …
Yet that speculation misses a key variable: the likely voting behavior of Christie’s choice upon entering the Senate. My research with Nolan McCarty can help inform the discussion because it directly measures the ideology of the most likely candidates for the position. [cont.]
Boris Shor, U. of Chicago