Vox Populi, Vox Dei? Crowd-Sourced Ideal Point Estimation

Journal of Politics, 78.1 (2016): 281-295.

32 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2014 Last revised: 5 Nov 2017

See all articles by Adam Ramey

Adam Ramey

New York University Abu Dhabi

Date Written: August 2, 2015


Measuring the ideology of voters and legislators has long been of interest to political scientists. Recently, a literature has emerged seeking to combine methodologies so as to measure ideology in a common space. In turn, these common space measures are employed to estimate legislative accountability and ideological congruence. While these attempts have been fruitful, they frequently rely on highly specific data formats and increasing computational complexity. I show that, with minimal assumptions, existing unfolding techniques may be employed that provide common space estimates of the president, members of Congress, governors, the Supreme Court, and other national political actors in a common space. The method is applied to the 2010 and 2012 waves of the Cooperative Campaign Election Study (CCES). The results match the results from more complex approaches and, moreover, provide the flexibility required to assess hypotheses about changes over time. I use these estimates to examine patterns of gubernatorial "leapfrog" representation over the last several years.

Suggested Citation

Ramey, Adam, Vox Populi, Vox Dei? Crowd-Sourced Ideal Point Estimation (August 2, 2015). Journal of Politics, 78.1 (2016): 281-295.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2485726 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2485726

Adam Ramey (Contact Author)

New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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