Constituency Characteristics and Legislative Preferences
An important concern for testing any theory of legislative politics is how to measure legislative preferences. No existing measures are immune to criticism, so sound advice should be based on a balanced assessment of various types of measures. This study focuses on the ability of constituency characteristics to predict Senate roll call votes. Even in the best possible case, constituency-characteristic measures are shown to be deficient both absolutely and relative to supposedly crude, vote-based measures which as ADA ratings. The implication is that constituency-characteristic measures are inappropriate as direct measures of legislative preferences. However, the possibility remains that for some applications they are useful indirect measures, e.g., as right hand side variables that covary with legislative behavior of interest. Copyright 1993 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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