AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: While studies of representation often focus on policy congruence between voters and elites, this is not the only dimension of representation, and in fact Members of Congress attempt to alter the dimensions of representation on which they are evaluated. In this paper I explore how the legislator’s representational style affects not only the voter’s evaluation of the representative, but also the importance of the non-ideological evaluation of the legislator. Using original data from The American Panel Survey, I find that as the frequency of contact with the legislator increases, citizens’ evaluations of the elite improve. Experimental evidence, however, demonstrates that these relationships are heavily conditioned by partisanship.
Patrick Tucker is a postdoctoral associate in the Center for the Study of American Politics and Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. His research focuses on representation and the stability of political attitudes and identities. His work has been published in Political Behavior, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Research Quarterly. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017.