Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-n7x5d Total loading time: 0.301 Render date: 2021-12-01T19:53:51.042Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

The Ideological Mapping of American Legislatures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2011

BORIS SHOR*
Affiliation:
University of Chicago
NOLAN McCARTY*
Affiliation:
Princeton University
*
Boris Shor is Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, 111E. 60th Street, Suite 185, Chicago, IL 60637 (bshor@uchicago.edu).
Nolan McCarty is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, 424 Robertson Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 (nmccarty@princeton.edu).

Abstract

The development and elaboration of the spatial theory of voting has contributed greatly to the study of legislative decision making and elections. Statistical models that estimate the spatial locations of individual decision-makers have made a key contribution to this success. Spatial models have been estimated for the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court, U.S. presidents, a large number of non-U.S. legislatures, and supranational organizations. Yet one potentially fruitful laboratory for testing spatial theories, the individual U.S. states, has remained relatively unexploited, for two reasons. First, state legislative roll call data have not yet been systematically collected for all states over time. Second, because ideal point models are based on latent scales, comparisons of ideal points across states or even between chambers within a state are difficult. This article reports substantial progress on both fronts. First, we have obtained the roll call voting data for all state legislatures from the mid-1990s onward. Second, we exploit a recurring survey of state legislative candidates to allow comparisons across time, chambers, and states as well as with the U.S. Congress. The resulting mapping of America's state legislatures has great potential to address numerous questions not only about state politics and policymaking, but also about legislative politics in general.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abadie, Alberto, Drukker, David, Herr, Jan Leber, and Imbens, Guido W.. 2001. “Implementing Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects in Stata.” Stata Journal 1: 118.Google Scholar
Abadie, Alberto, and Imbens, Guido W.. 2002. “Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators: For Average Treatment Effects.” NBER Technical working paper 283.Google Scholar
Aldrich, John H., and Battista, James S. Coleman. 2002. “Conditional Party Government in the States. American Journal of Political Science 46 (1): 164–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ansolabehere, Stephen, Snyder, James, and Stewart, Charles. 2001a. “Candidate Positioning in U.S. House Elections. American Journal of Political Science 45 (1): 136–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ansolabehere, Stephen, Snyder, James, and Stewart, Charles. 2001b. “The Effects of Party and Preferences on Congressional Roll-call Voting. Legislative Studies Quarterly 26 (4): 533–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bafumi, Joseph, Gelman, Andrew, Park, David K., and Kaplan, Noah. 2005. “Practical Issues in Implementing and Understanding Bayesian Ideal Point Estimation. Political Analysis 13 (2): 171–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, Michael A., and Chang, Kelly H.. 2001. “Comparing Presidents, Senators, and Justices: Interinstitutional Preference Estimation. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 17 (2): 477506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, Michael A., Kamoie, Brian, and Maltzman, Forrest. 2005. “Signals from the Tenth Justice: The Political Role of the Solicitor General in Supreme Court Decision Making. American Journal of Political Science 49 (1): 7285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, William D., Fording, Richard C., Ringquist, J. Evan, Hanson, Russell L., and Klarner, Carl. 2010. “Measuring Citizen and Government Ideology in the American States. State Politics and Policy Quarterly 10 (2): 117–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, William D., Ringquist, Evan J., Fording, Richard C., and Hanson, Russell L.. 1998. “Measuring Citizen and Government Ideology in the American States, 1960–93. American Journal of Political Science 42 (1): 327–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bertelli, Anthony, and Richardson, Lilliard E.. 2004. “Direct Democracy in the American States: An Analysis of Roll Call Votes.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago.Google Scholar
Bertelli, Anthony, and Richardson, Lilliard E.. 2008. “Ideological Extremism and Electoral Design: Multimember versus Single Member Districts.” Public Choice 137: 347–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cameron, Charles M. 2000. Veto Bargaining: Presidents and the Politics of Negative Power. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carroll, Joyce, Lewis, Jeffrey B., Lo, James, Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 2009. “Comparing NOMINATE and IDEAL: Points of Difference and Monte Carlo Tests. Legislative Studies Quarterly 34 (4): 555–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clinton, Joshua D. 2007. “Lawmaking and Roll Calls.” Journal of Politics 69: 457–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clinton, Joshua D., and Jackman, Simon D.. 2009. “To Simulate or NOMINATE? Legislative Studies Quarterly 34 (4): 593622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clinton, Joshua D., Jackman, Simon D., and Rivers, Douglas. 2004. “The Statistical Analysis of Roll Call Data.” American Political Science Review 98: 355–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clinton, Joshua D., and Meirowitz, Adam H.. 2003. “Integrating Voting Theory and Roll Call Analysis: A Framework.” Political Analysis 11: 381–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clinton, Joshua D., and Meirowitz, Adam H.. 2004. “Testing Accounts of Legislative Strategic Voting.” American Journal of Political Science 48: 675–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cox, Gary W., and McCubbins, Mathew. 1993. Legislative Leviathan: Party Government in the House. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Crump, Richard K., Hotz, V. Joseph, Imbens, Guido W., and Mitnick, Oscar A.. 2006. “Moving the Goalposts: Addressing Limited Overlap in Estimation of Average Treatment Effects by Changing the Estimand.” NBER Technical Working Paper 330.Google Scholar
Epstein, Lee, Martin, Andrew, Segal, Jeffrey, and Westerland, Chad. 2007. “The Judicial Common Space.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 23: 303–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, Elisabeth R., and Lewis, Jeffrey B.. 2004. “Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation. Journal of Political Economy 112 (6): 1364–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Groseclose, Tim, Levitt, Steven D., and Snyder, James M. Jr. 1999. “Comparing Interest Group Scores across Time and Chambers: Adjusted ADA Scores for the U.S. Congress. American Political Science Review 93 (1): 3350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hacker, Jacob, and Pierson, Paul. 2005. Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Heckman, James, and Snyder, James. 1997. “Linear Probability Models of the Demand for Attributes with an Empirical Application to Estimating the Preferences of Legislators.” Rand Journal of Economics 28: 142–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hix, Simon, Noury, Abdul, and Roland, Gerard. 2006. “Dimensions of Politics in the European Parliament. American Journal of Political Science 50 (2): 494511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hix, Simon, Noury, Abdul, and Roland, Gerard. 2007. Democratic Politics in the European Parliament. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackman, Simon D. 2000. “Estimation and Inference are Missing Data Problems: Unifying Social Science Statistics via Bayesian Simulation.” Political Analysis 8: 307–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackman, Simon D. 2004. “Bayesian Analysis for Political Research.” Annual Review of Political Science 7: 483505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jenkins, Shannon. 2006. “The Impact of Party and Ideology on Roll-call Voting in State Legislatures.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 31: 235–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jessee, Stephen A. 2010. “Partisan Bias, Political Information and Spatial Voting in the 2008 Presidential Election.” Journal of Politics 72: 327–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kousser, Thad, Lewis, Jeffrey B., and Masket, Seth. 2007. “Ideological Adaptation? The Survival Instinct of Threatened Legislators.” Journal of Politics. 69: 828–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Layman, Geoffrey C., Carsey, Thomas M., and Horowitz, Juliana Menasce. 2006. “Party Polarization in American Politics: Characteristics, Causes, and Consequences.” Annual Review of Political Science 9: 83110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leip, David. 2008. “Atlas of US Presidential Elections.” http://www.uselectionatlas.org (accessed February 2010).Google Scholar
Levendusky, Matthew S., Pope, Jeremy C., and Jackman, Simon D.. 2008. “Measuring {District-level} Partisanship with Implications for the Analysis of {U.S.} Elections. Journal of Politics 70 (3): 736–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewis, Jeffery B. 2010. “California Assembly and Senate Roll Call Votes, 1993 to the Present.” http://adric.sscnet.ucla.edu/california/ (accessed April 25, 2011).Google Scholar
Londregan, John B. 2000a. “Estimating Legislators' Preferred Points.” Political Analysis 8: 3556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Londregan, John B. 2000b. Legislative Institutions and Ideology in Chile. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, Andrew D., and Quinn, Kevin M.. 2002. “Dynamic Ideal Point Estimation via Markov Chain Monte Carlo for the US Supreme Court. Political Analysis 10 (2): 134–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Masket, Seth. 2009. No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCarty, Nolan. 2011. “Measuring Legislative Preferences.” In Oxford Handbook of Congress, eds. Schickler, Eric and Lee, Frances E.. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
McCarty, Nolan M., and Poole, Keith T.. 1995. “Veto Power and Legislation: An Empirical Analysis of Executive and Legislative Bargaining from 1961 to 1986. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 11 (2): 282312.Google Scholar
McCarty, Nolan, Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 2001. “The Hunt for Party Discipline in Congress.” American Political Science Review 95: 673–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCarty, Nolan, Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 2006. Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
McCarty, Nolan, Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 2009. “Does Gerrymandering Cause Polarization? American Journal of Political Science 53 (3): 666–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morgenstern, Scott. 2004. Patterns of Legislative Politics: Roll Call Voting in Latin America and the United States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Overby, L. Marvin, Kazee, Thomas A., and Prince, David W.. 2004. “Committee Outliers in State Legislatures.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 29: 81107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poole, Keith T. 1998. “Recovering a Basic Space from a Set of Issue Scales.” American Journal of Political Science 42: 954–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poole, Keith T. 2000. “Non-parametric Unfolding of Binary Choice Data.” Political Analysis 8: 211–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poole, Keith T. 2005. Spatial Models of Parliamentary Voting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 1984. “The Polarization of American Politics. Journal of Politics 46 (4): 1061–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 1991. “Patterns of Congressional Voting. American Journal of Political Science 35 (1): 228–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 1997. Congress: A Political-economic History of Roll Call Voting. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 2001. “D-nominate after 10 Years: A Comparative Update to Congress: A Political-economic History of Roll-call Voting. Legislative Studies Quarterly 26 (1): 529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shor, Boris. 2011. “All Together Now: Putting Congress, State Legislatures, and Individuals in a Common Ideological Space to Assess Representation at the Macro and Micro Levels.” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1697352 (accessed January 1, 2011).Google Scholar
Shor, Boris, Berry, Christopher, and McCarty, Nolan. 2010. “A Bridge to Somewhere: Mapping State and Congressional Ideology on a Cross-institutional Common Space. Legislative Studies Quarterly 35 (3): 417–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shor, Boris, McCarty, Nolan, and Berry, Christopher. 2008. “Methodological Issues in Bridging Ideal Points in Disparate Institutions in a Data Sparse Environment.” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1746582 (accessed January 1, 2011).Google Scholar
Shor, Boris, and Rogowski, Jon C.. 2010. “Congressional Voting by Spatial Reasoning.” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1643518 (accessed August 1, 2010).Google Scholar
Snyder, James M. 1992. “Artificial Extremism in Interest Group Ratings. Legislative Studies Quarterly 17 (3): 319–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Snyder, James M., and Groseclose, Tim. 2001. “Estimating Party Influence on Roll Call Voting: Regression Coefficients versus Classification Success.” American Political Science Review 95: 689–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Theriault, Sean M. 2008. Party Polarization in Congress. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Voeten, Erik. 2000. “Clashes in the Assembly.” International Organization 54: 185215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. 2002. Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Wright, Gerald C. 2007. “Representation in America's Legislatures.” http://www.indiana.edu/~ral/ (accessed April 25, 2011).Google Scholar
Wright, Gerald C., and Clark, Jennifer H.. 2005. “Parties and Stability in Legislative Voting Coalitions in the American States.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Wright, Gerald C., and Schaffner, Brian F.. 2002. “The Influence of Party: Evidence from the State Legislatures. American Political Science Review 96 (2): 367–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wright, Gerald C., and Winburn, Jon. 2003. “The Effect of Size and Party on the Dimensionality of Roll Calls. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago.”Google Scholar
Supplementary material: PDF

Shor and McCarty supplementary material

Appendix

Download Shor and McCarty supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 46 KB
370
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Ideological Mapping of American Legislatures
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Ideological Mapping of American Legislatures
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Ideological Mapping of American Legislatures
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *