JAMES M. SNYDER, JR.
Constituency Preferences: California Ballot Propositions, 1974-90
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXI:463-88
What effect do their constituencies' voting preferences have on legislators' roll-call voting patterns? Through a study of citizens' votes on statewide ballot propositions and legislators' votes on roll calls in California, I find that when aggregated into legislative districts, the revealed preferences of California voters can be described by a spatial model with just three dimensions; that the constituency preference dimensions defined by this spatial model do an excellent job of predicting the overall roll-call voting patterns in the California legislature; and that there is evidence of a strong dimension-by-dimension correspondence between constituency preferences and legislative roll-call patterns. These findings suggest that the high degree of constraint found in roll-call voting in many U.S. legislatures may be due to legislator-constituency linkages.