Legislators’ actions are influenced by party, constituency, and their own views, each weighted differently. Our survey of state legislators finds that legislator’s own views are the strongest influence. We also find that institutions are an important source of party leaders’ influence. Legislators in states where members rely more on party leaders—states without term limits, with less professional legislatures, and where the majority party controls the agenda—put more weight on leaders’ preferences. Beyond direct party influence, the views of party leaders are preemptively incorporated into legislators’ preferences when the rules of the legislature make party leaders more powerful.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science