SARAH BINDER, FORREST MALTZMAN, AND LEE SIGELMAN
Senators’ Home-State Reputations: Why Do Constituents Love a Bill Cohen
So Much More Than an Al D’Amato?
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXIII:545-60

Prior analyses of the bases of legislators’ popular support have provided a mixed set of findings. In this note, we lay out a series of hypotheses about the determinants of legislators’ home-state reputations, and test these expectations using a 1996 survey in which 40 thousand constituents in all 50 states rated their senators’ job performance. We find that ideological congruence, state demographics, and electoral factors best explain variation in senators’ reputations. Parochial attention, partisanship, and legislative activism do little to boost senators’ approval ratings.


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