Ideology and the US Congressional Vote

Political Science Research and Methods, 2016

34 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2015 Last revised: 29 Jun 2016

See all articles by Boris Shor

Boris Shor

University of Houston - Department of Political Science

Jon Rogowski

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Political Science

Date Written: May 23, 2016

Abstract

A large class of theoretical models posits that voters choose candidates on the basis of issue congruence, but convincing empirical tests of this key claim remain elusive. The most persistent difficulty is obtaining comparable spatial estimates for winning and losing candidates, as well as voters. We address these issues using candidate surveys to characterize the electoral platforms for winners and losers, and large issue batteries in 2008 and 2010 to estimate voter preferences. Questions that were answered by both candidates and citizens allow us to jointly scale these estimates. We find robust evidence that vote choice in congressional elections is both strongly associated with spatial proximity and that individual-level and contextual variables commonly associated with congressional voting behavior condition the magnitude of its importance. Our results have important implications for theories of voter decision-making and electoral institutions.

Keywords: congress, ideology, representation, joint classification

Suggested Citation

Shor, Boris and Rogowski, Jon, Ideology and the US Congressional Vote (May 23, 2016). Political Science Research and Methods, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2650028 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2650028

Boris Shor (Contact Author)

University of Houston - Department of Political Science ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-3011
United States

Jon Rogowski

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Political Science ( email )

Campus Box 1133
One Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

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