Recent studies have documented that parties influence legislative behavior. But such studies have been unable to distinguish between party voting stemming from ideological agreement and true party influence, as most lack independent measures of legislator ideology and have not been tested at the U.S. state level. Using survey data to control for legislator ideology, this analysis looks at how and under what conditions parties influence voting in three sessions of five state legislatures. The results suggest party influence on voting in the states is partly due to the fact that legislators have similar beliefs and represent similar people. Nonetheless, parties exert an independent influence on roll call voting due to state legislators’ desire for party resources and their desire to create a positive brand name for the party. Furthermore, there are numerous circumstances under which parties exert this influence.
- roll call voting,
- state legislatures,
- political parties
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shannon_jenkins/3/