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Passing the president's program: Public opinion and presidential influence in Congress

Rivers, Douglas and Rose, Nancy L. (1985) Passing the president's program: Public opinion and presidential influence in Congress. American Journal of Political Science, 29 (2). pp. 183-196. ISSN 0092-5853. doi:10.2307/2111162.

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Correlations between legislative support scores and presidential popularity do not accurately reflect the relationship between public opinion and presidential influence in Congress. Presidents make strategic choices to expend their public prestige to obtain congressional approval of programmatic initiatives. Previous studies have ignored such choices as well as other features of the strategic environment which tend to lower the apparent legislative success rates of popular presidents. A model of presidential and congressional behavior is proposed, and it is estimated that a 1 percent increase in a president's public support level increases the president's legislative approval rate by approximately 1 percent (holding program size fixed).

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Additional Information:© 1985 Midwest Political Science Association. Manuscript submitted 26 March 1984; Final manuscript received 29 October 1984. The authors would like to thank Douglas Hibbs, Samuel Kernell, Arthur Maass, Richard Neustadt, and the editor for their helpful comments. Earlier versions were presented at the 1981 Midwest Political Science Association and 1983 Western Political Science Association meetings and at seminars at Harvard University and the University of Chicago. The National Science Foundation provided research support under grant SES-8309994. Formerly SSWP 549.
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Subject Keywords:Political parties, Public opinion, Prestige, Congressional voting, Congressional legislation, Presidential performance, Congressional elections, Polls, Presidential elections
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171113-162513740
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83178
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:15 Nov 2017 23:38
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:56

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