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Lessons from the Election, Part 1: The Arkansas Legislature and the Decline of State Democracy

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2 Responses

  1. I. Glenn Cohen says:

    Great post David! I was curious what you think this means for the economic/social divide on possible issues. The quote you take from Rogers seems to focus on *economic* assessments, but I am wondering if the same goes for social issues as well, such as gay marriage, abortion, etc.

  2. David Schleicher says:

    Interesting. I don’t have any reason to believe social issues are different in this respect, although I’d have to check if anyone has broken them out and studied them separately. Voter assessments of state legislatures certainly should capture social issues as well as economic ones. My instinct is certainly that there is little reason to believe that state policies on social issues are more responsive to voter preferences than state policies on anything else. But perhaps they are sometimes high-profile enough that voters do take note and politicians are able to differentiate themselves from the national party brand by taking popular stances on such issues (although one of the mechanisms discussed above, primaries among voters with stances defined on national lines, seems to have done a few of the state senators who voted for marriage equality in NY state, which is generally popular but not among republican primary voters (and even led to a 3rd party challenge in Dutchess county).

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