Getting Out the Vote: Minority Mobilization in a Presidential Election with Dan Stevens
Despite attempts to mobilize communities of color, gaps in turnout among racial and ethnic minorities persist. Scholars are only beginning to understand how parties or independent groups seek to mobilize these communities. In this paper, we develop and test the Differential Contact Thesis, which holds that turnout differences between whites and minority groups are influenced both by lower rates of contact by the parties and the use of less effective methods of contact. To test this, we examine data from the 2004 National Annenberg Election Study (NAES), 2004 American National Election Study (ANES), and the 2004 Miami Exit Poll. Our results support the Differential Contact Thesis: even controlling for the initial likelihood to be contacted by the parties, racial and ethnic minorities were less likely to be contacted using the most effective techniques. To some extent, non-partisan contact seems to compensate for the inattention of the major parties toward minority voters, but this contact is less likely to mobilize voters than contact from the parties.

Deceit, diversity, or mobilization? Intra-ethnic diversity and changing patterns in Florida’s Hispanic Vote with Casey Klofstad
What explains President Bush’s increased vote in the State of Florida in the 2004 election? A common perception is that implementation of electronic voting machines and a surge in GOP registration increased Bush’s vote margins relative to the 2000 election. In this paper we offer an alternative explanation: massive Puerto Rican immigration combined with successful Republican mobilization of this group explains about 14% of the increase in Bush’s margin of victory—approximately 50,000 votes. Scholars’ failure to account for intra-ethnic diversity, by employing a “panethnic” approach that treats Latinos as having identical political preferences, leads scholars to overlook the important role of Hispanic subconstituencies in the 2004 election.

Miami Dade's Cuban-American Voters in the 2008 Election with Feryal Cherif, Andy Gomez, and Dan Stevens
While little has changed in Cuba, attitudes among the Cuban American voters in Miami Dade County have become increasingly complex.  No longer is this a community whose views can be easily stereotyped. Despite media projections, conjecture, and perhaps even wishful thinking, for instance, 63.9% of Cuban American voters supported the Republican, John McCain, a figure that while lower than the vote Bush garnered in 2000 and 2004, still represents a very strong commitment by the Cuban American community to the Republican Party.  Our findings suggest that while the seismic shift in the political preferences of the Cuban American community predicted by the national news media was not realized, modest changes in vote preferences and more dramatic changes in attitudes toward U.S. Cuba foreign policy did occur.

What to Expect from the Cuban-American Electorate with Andy Gomez and Casey Klofstad
Over the last four decades a conventional wisdom about Cuban Americans holding extreme and almost rabid support for Republicans has evolved.  So pervasive is this stereotype that over the last few years the media have portrayed a new contrasting view in which Cuban American voters are “up for grabs” and much more likely to vote Democratic.  The evidence we present in this paper suggests that both views are incorrect.  The overwhelming homogeneity among Cuban American voters in supporting Republicans, the travel ban, and the embargo, conceals much greater opinion diversity on other, especially social, issues.  Finally, we also demonstrate that on social issues, this liberalism is especially pronounced among women, an often overlooked group that comprises a solid majority of the Cuban American electorate.  Understanding these nuances in Cuban American attitudes provides great leverage for understanding what the future holds for this important voting bloc.

The Impact of Economic Versus Institutional Factors in Elite Evaluations of Presidential Progress Toward Democracy in Latin America with Rob Barr and Matt Lebo
Elites’ support for democracy and their satisfaction with political leadership are important factors in evaluating Latin American leaders’ progress toward consolidating their democracies. However, we know surprisingly little about how elites understand or define democracy and thereby evaluate leaders in terms of progress toward democracy. Much literature on opinions of elites focuses on their relative interest in democratic values and formal institutions. But is progress in these two areas really of utmost importance to elites? To better understand elite views of democracy, the authors use new survey data in which elites assess current politicians’ progress toward democracy. They find that the importance of perceived progress in democratic values—civil rights and civil liberties—and formal institutions is minor compared to the impact of perceptions of economic progress; elites’ evaluations of democratic progress depend primarily on their perceptions of economic success and only secondarily on perceptions of achievement of democratic values.

Estimating legislators’ preferences using background characteristics
This paper develops a way of thinking about and measuring private ideology by applying research on attitude formation to the measurement of political ideology. The measure, called FILTER, is widely generalizable to the study of political elites in and out of government, within and across countries. Application of this belief formation model of political ideology avoids several measurement problems that afflict commonly used action-based measures of public ideology. The method can be used to estimate the personal political preferences of politicians whose preferences are either not directly observable, or those who may be punished for making their preferences public. The method is applied to generate estimates for the 107th US Senate.

Does Democracy “Suffer” from Diversity? Issue Representation and Diversity in Senate Electionswith Jay Dow and Jim Adams
Several recent studies examine the degree to which congressional behavior affects candidates’ electoral fortunes (e.g., Carson 2005). Research examining electoral competitiveness (Bond, Campbell and Cottrill 2001; Koetzle 1998) and roll call voting (Bailey and Brady 1998; Jones 2003) finds that diversity in the electorate mediates the impact of numerous variables upon election outcomes and representation. However, the influence of diversity on other modes of representation – such as the policy positions taken by Senate candidates – remains unexplored. We investigate the link between representation and Senate candidates’ policy positions and thereby examine the degree to which voter diversity affects candidates’ policy responsiveness. We find that diversity significantly influences responsiveness, both directly and indirectly—candidates in homogenous states are more responsive to constituents than are candidates in
heterogeneous states.

Authoritarian Attitudes, Democracy, and Policy Preferences among Latin American Eliteswith Dan Stevens and Rob Barr
This article examines the prevalence and consequences of authoritarian attitudes among elites in Argentina, Brazil, Chile,Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. We focus on the connection between antidemocratic elite attitudes and support for democracy; the causes and effects of authoritarian attitudes among elites and their implications for authoritarianism; and the impact of authoritarian attitudes beyond social policy preferences to other policy areas that have indirect implications for order. Contrary to some of the literature, we find that antidemocratic attitudes affect elites’ support for democracy. Our analysis also speaks to the debate on the origins of authoritarianism.Much of the evidence supports Altemeyer’s notion that perceived threat raises levels of authoritarianism, rather than Feldman’s contention that threat strengthens the influence of authoritarian attitudes. Finally, we demonstrate that there is a broader influence of authoritarian attitudes on economic policy preferences, but only where those policies appear to have implications for social order.

Character Counts? Honesty and Fairness in Election 2000 with Dan Stevens and Chris Wilson
This paper examines the impact voters’ evaluations of the candidates’ character had on their vote choice using the 2000 presidential election. We find that while the magnitude of the impact of character on the vote was roughly equal for both major party candidates, contrary to common perception, the substantive significance of character evaluations disproportionately affected George Bush. Our results indicate the need to account for the influence of character in other elections given that character issues are a recurring theme in American presidential campaigns.

The Determinants of Racial Disparities in Perceived Job Insecurity: A Test of Three Perspectiveswith George Wilson and Tammy Eitle
Why do African Americans report higher levels of perceived job insecurity than Whites? We analyze data from the 1996 and 1998 General Social Survey to test alternative predictions from the compositional, inclusive-discrimination, and dispositional perspectives concerning the sources of the racial gap in perceived insecurity. Results from ordered probit regressions provide most support for the inclusive-discrimination perspective, which maintains that employment practices associated with "modern racial prejudice" induce perceived insecurity on a widespread and generalized basis among African Americans. Accordingly, compared to Whites, African Americans experience perceived insecurity net of human capital credentials and job/labor market characteristics. Additional analyses provide one qualification to these findings : dynamics associated with the inclusive-discrimination perspective are more pronounced in the private sector than the public sector.

Truth or Consequences? Character and Swing Voters in the 2000 Election with Dan Stevens and Chris Wilson
Character is a common theme in presidential elections, but research on how it affects the vote has lagged. With the country more polarized, the influence of swing voters on election outcomes has increased. This article examines the impact of evaluations of candidate character on the vote choices of independent voters, using the 2000 election as a test case. It finds that character had a greater impact on the voting of independents than of partisans, and that the importance of character evaluations was disproportionately concentrated on George W. Bush.

The Validity and Accuracy of Commonly used Ideology Measures: A Consumer’s Guide
Are measures of legislator ideology derived from behavior accurate and valid? Past research says yes. However, the benchmarks used to reach these conclusions are often also based on legislators’ public actions. Non- ideological factors that cause legislators to take specific issue positions may be highly related across measures and mistakenly lead scholars to believe that action-based estimates are valid. This question is important because scholars frequently wish to use action-based ideology estimates as explanatory variables. Without independent validation, it is unclear whether the results of these studies are valid or the product of measurement error.  Applying an ideological benchmark that is not based on legislators’ actions, I evaluate the validity of several commonly used ideology measures. The results show that action-based ideology measures produce valid estimates of legislator ideology.

Representation in Congressional Campaigns: Evidence for Discounting/Directional Voting in U.S. Senate Elections with Jim Adams and Jay Dow
Several recent studies suggest that voters may prefer candidates who propose policies that are similar to, but more extreme than, the voters’ sincere policy preferences. This may arise either because voters vote directionally based on the direction and intensity of candidates’ proposals or, alternatively, because voters recognize that elected officials face obstacles to implementing their policy agenda and therefore discount the candidates’ policy promises. Using data from the Pooled Senate Election Study, we evaluate the discounting/ directional hypothesis versus the alternative proximity hypothesis, by conducting individual-level and aggregate-level analyses of voting in 95 Senate races held in 1988-90-92. Our results support the discounting/directional hypothesis, that voters reward candidates when they present distinctly non-centrist positions on the side of the issue (liberal or conservative)favored by their constituency. These findings have important implications for understanding voting behavior, policy representation, and candidate strategies in Senate  elections.

Dormant Delegation: Evidence on the Conflicting Findings of Research on Legislative Representation
Empirical studies of legislative representation often reach conflicting conclusions about the degree to which legislators reflect the voters’ preferences. Given the importance of representation as a keystone of democracy, these results demand explanation. I argue that these conflicting results stem from scholars’ failure to adequately account for the complexity of the representation process. Specifically, scholars generally account for neither the indirect influences on legislator behavior nor control for obvious rival hypotheses when evaluating the efficacy of the representation process. The results demonstrate that personal, party and constituent preferences all influence legislators’ decisions either directly or indirectly.

Independently Validating Ideology Measures: A Look at NOMINATE and Adjusted ADA Scores
Measures of political ideology are central to a broad range of political science scholarship. However, despite extensive evaluation of the relative characteristics of vote based ideology measures, little scholarship examines their validity independent of legislator behavior. Ideological validity is overlooked because all existing measures are action-based. To address this gap, this paper applies an instrumental variables technique called FILTER to assess the validity of two important measures of legislator ideology— NOMINATE and interest group ratings. The measure is also applied to investigate whether action based ideology measured suffer from agenda bias. The results show that the measures produce valid estimates of legislator ideology. Moreover, FILTER offers an important alternative to existing action-based measures of ideology which may be inappropriate for use in some settings, such as when the dependent variable being studied is also action-based.

Heterogeneity and Representation Reconsidered: A Replication and Extension with Chris Dennis
This paper replicates and extends the article “Heterogeneity and Representation: The Senate and Free Trade” which appeared in theAmerican Journal of Political Science (42: 524-544) in which Michael Bailey and David W. Brady argue that legislative representation is dyadic. Constituency matters in homogeneous states but is less important in heterogeneous ones. The implication is that scholars who fail to disaggregate states by heterogeneity conflate the two distinct types of representation that occur and reach conflicting results. We replicate the authors’ statistical analysis and confirm their results. However, disaggregating the votes used as the dependent variable shows important differences. While the results for homogeneous states remain the same, the results for heterogeneous states change. More specifically, constituency influence varies across votes. We suggest that the limited finding for dyadic representation only in homogenous states is premature. The results seem as likely to stem from measurement problems as from differences in the representation process. The authors’ conclusions are likely understated. The real impact of accounting for heterogeneity is probably even larger than the authors suggest.

Constituency Influence in Congress: Does Subconstituency Matter?
Conflicting findings in the congressional roll-call voting literature have been attributed, in part, to scholars’ failure to identify appropriately the subconstituencies to whom legislators appeal when making decisions (Jackson and Kingdon 1992). This paper develops and examines a new model of legislator behavior that accounts for the prospective constituency—the subset of the legal constituency to whom legislators are likely to appeal in the next election. The prospective constituency is based on the idea that legislators consider the views not only of past supporters but also of swing voters and moderate opposing partisans as well. Results from this model are compared to results generated by a traditional model—one that does not account for subconstituency. Models incorporating the prospective constituency find constituency to influence senators’ roll-call decisions, and they offer an explanation for the conflicting results of past studies.

Constituent diversity and congress: the case of NAFTA with Chirss Dennis and Polytimy Nicolaou
An important finding of legislative research is that constituency variables are more important predictors of a legislator’s vote when constituent preferences are homogeneous, as opposed to when the various elements of the legislator’s constituency are pulling the legislator in opposing directions (Goff & Grier, Public Choice, 76, 5–20; Bailey & Brady, American Journal of Political Science, 42, 524–544). We examine these expectations on a highly salient vote, the 1993 senate vote on the North American Free Trade Agreement. While we find support for the view that constituency variables are more important in homogeneous than heterogeneous constituencies, we also find that by confining constituency variables to economic factors scholars overlook the importance of constituent ideology on legislator behavior in homogeneous constituencies.

The Impact of Legislator and Constituency Ideology on Voting on the Assault Weapons Ban with Marshall Medoff and Chris Dennis
Using variables that represent a legislator’s entire legal constituency, previous research by social scientists has concluded that views of the legislator’s constituency have little effect on how legislators vote. This question is reexamined by defining constituency as those voters most likely to vote for the legislator (i.e., members of the legislator’s own political party and independents). Furthermore, instead of measuring constituency by either a demographic or vote-based measure, a survey measure of the ideological identification of voters (i.e., the voter’s self-identification as liberal, moderate, or conservative) is introduced. It is found that the ideology of a senator’s electoral constituency was an important factor on the recent U.S. Senate vote to ban 19 semi-automatic assault weapons. The findings have important implications for how social scientists conceptualize and measure constituency.

Bimodal Issues, the Median Voter Model, Legislator's Ideology, and Abortion with Marshall Medoff and Chris Dennis
The median voter model is used in the public choice literature to explain legislator’s behavior.  According to the model, if voter preferences are unimodal, a voter-maximizing legislator should mirror the position of the median voter.  However, the median model has not been tested on bimodal issues.  This paper fills this critical void by empirically testing the applicability of the median voter model on an issue which clearly meets the criteria for being bimodal: abortion.  Using a variety of attitudinal measures from a large sample public opinion polls and constituency demographics, this study finds that Senate voting on the 1994 Freedom of Abortion Access bill was highly related to the senator’s personal characteristics- especially ideology-and not to constituent opinion or demographics.