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      The Democratic Deficit in the States : DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT

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      American Journal of Political Science

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Most cited references 29

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          Measuring Citizen and Government Ideology in the American States, 1960-93

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            Effects of Public Opinion on Policy

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              Gay Rights in the States: Public Opinion and Policy Responsiveness

              We study the effects of policy-specific public opinion on state adoption of policies affecting gays and lesbians, and the factors that condition this relationship. Using national surveys and advances in opinion estimation, we create new estimates of state-level support for eight policies, including civil unions and nondiscrimination laws. We differentiate between responsiveness to opinion and congruence with opinion majorities. We find a high degree of responsiveness, controlling for interest group pressure and the ideology of voters and elected officials. Policy salience strongly increases the influence of policy-specific opinion (directly and relative to general voter ideology). There is, however, a surprising amount of noncongruence—for some policies, even clear supermajority support seems insufficient for adoption. When noncongruent, policy tends to be more conservative than desired by voters; that is, there is little progay policy bias. We find little to no evidence that state political institutions affect policy responsiveness or congruence.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                American Journal of Political Science
                Wiley-Blackwell
                00925853
                January 2012
                January 2012
                : 56
                : 1
                : 148-166
                Article
                10.1111/j.1540-5907.2011.00537.x
                © 2012

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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