My primary area of research is in American politics, with a focus on legislative careers. I am interested in understanding the differences in the career trajectories of Republican and Democratic legislators. I am particularly intrigued by questions of when and why elected officials voluntarily leave their posts. Though much of my research centers on the United States Senate, I also study the career decisions of legislators in the European Union.
Brant, Hanna K., Theodore J. Masthay and L. Marvin Overby. Forthcoming. “Joining the Great Majority: An Analysis of Senate Deaths, 1919-2015.” Social Science Quarterly.
Masthay, Theodore J. and L. Marvin Overby. 2017. “Dynamics of Senate Retirements.” Political Research Quarterly 70 (1): 184-193.
Masthay, Theodore J. and L. Marvin Overby. 2017. “Republicans prefer to serve in the Senate over the House: for them, it represents the ultimate realistic office.” Invited post on London School of Economics American Politics and Policy Blog.
Selected Conference Presentations
“Filling the Void: Retired Senators and Their Successors.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, 2017 with Hanna K. Brant and L. Marvin Overby.
“Exiting the Continent: Euroscepticism and Voluntary Departures from the European Parliament,” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, 2016.
“Yielding the Floor for the Last Time: Senate Retirement Dynamics, 1919-2014,” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, 2016 with L. Marvin Overby, Hanna Brant, and Anurag Chandran.
“The Vintage Incumbency Advantage: Former House Members as Challengers,” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago IL, 2015.
“Comfort in Numbers: Parties, Legislative Experience and Retirements in the U.S. Senate,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Political Science Association, Las Vegas, NV, 2015.