Public preferences for bipartisanship in the policymaking process

Laurel Harbridge, Neil Malhotra, Brian F. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


At a time of a high level of polarization in Congress, public opinion surveys routinely find that Americans want politicians to compromise. When evaluating legislation, does the preference for bipartisanship in the legislative process trump partisan identities? We find that it does not. We conduct two experiments in which we alter aspects of the political context to see how people respond to parties (not) coming together to achieve broadly popular public policy goals. Although citizens can recognize bipartisan processes, preferences for bipartisan legislating do not outweigh partisan desires in the evaluation of public policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-355
Number of pages29
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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