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Dan Butler's research on legislator pivotality published in Political Research Quarterly

Dan Butler joins co-authors Sarah E. Anderson, Laurel Harbridge-Yong, and Joe Nemerever on the article "Legislator Pivotality and Voter Accountability," published in Political Research Quarterly. The article can be accessed here

Abstract: Pivotal legislators’ positions are critical to legislative outcomes, but does this heightened importance in policymaking translate into heightened electoral accountability or voter knowledge? Arguments about clarity of responsibility suggest that pivotal legislators, who are decisive in determining legislative outcomes, may be held to higher standards, while perspectives rooted in electoral incentives for position taking suggest they may not. Two survey experiments show that voters do not respond more strongly to pivotal legislators’ votes on policy. Moreover, observational data analysis rejects the expectation that constituents have more knowledge about the votes of pivotal moderate legislators compared to non-pivotal moderate legislators. These results suggest that pivotal legislators face similar, if not lower, accountability for their votes. Combined with the policy-concessions pivotal legislators can secure, these patterns point to the benefits that accrue to pivotal legislators from institutional rules that give them key veto power over policy.

Butler, Anderson, and Harbridge-Yong are frequent collaborators, having recently received a $60,000 Unite America grant for their research. Click here to learn more.