How Do We Want to Be Represented? How Do We Differ?

David C. Barker and Christopher Jan Carman

in Representing Red and Blue

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796564
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979714 | DOI:

Series: Series in Political Psychology

How Do We Want to Be Represented? How Do We Differ?

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This chapter begins with a discussion of the existing literature as it pertains to the instructed delegate versus trustee question. Then this chapter introduces our survey data and consider how, generally speaking, citizens tend to think about this question. The chapter shows that citizens tend to prefer instructed delegates, but not overwhelmingly so. The chapter then examines how the distribution of opinion changes according to (a) the types of issues being considered (e.g., foreign vs. domestic, and “hard” vs. “easy”) and (b) the institution doing the representing (the president vs. Congress). The chapter observes that citizens expect more trustee-style representation out of the president than they do of Congress, and slightly more trustee-style representation when the issues in question are cultural rather than economic.

Keywords: trustee/delegate model; public preferences; Cooperative Congressional Election Study; issue type

Chapter.  7013 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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