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The Images of Incumbents in Great Britain and the United States

Cain, Bruce E. and Ferejohn, John A. and Fiorina, Morris P. (1983) The Images of Incumbents in Great Britain and the United States. Social Science Working Paper, 475. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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Incumbents in single member, simple plurality systems strive to develop name recognition and positive images of themselves. We propose to analyze the images that constituents in Great Britain and the United States have of their MPs and Congressmen and to measure the impact which incumbent activities have on those images. We also examine the normative expectations that constituents in both countries have of their representatives and how these expectations shape their evaluations. The data for this study comes from matching elite and voter surveys in Great Britain and the United States. Our results can be summarized as follows: 1) a large percentage of constituents in both countries believe that casework and protecting district interests are the most important functions of the representative; 2) those from working class, less well educated backgrounds are more inclined to prefer a service role for their representative than a policy role; 3) the evaluations that constituents have of their representatives reflects the importance of constituency service in their priorities as well; and 4) that representatives who undertake high levels of constituency service have better constituent images than other representatives.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:Prepared for Delivery at the Canadian Political Science Association, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, June 7, 1983.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:475
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170922-141927201
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81765
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:25 Sep 2017 22:56
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:46

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