Policy representation of constituency interests
- Cite this article as:
- Erikson, R.S. & Wright, G.C. Polit Behav (1980) 2: 91. doi:10.1007/BF00989757
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This paper examines two aspects of congressional representation: the responsiveness of House candidates to constituency opinion and the effect of candidate positions on House election outcomes. For both Democratic- and Republican-held seats, constituency liberalism (as measured by the constituency's vote for McGovern in 1972) is strongly related to the liberalism of incumbent candidates but less so to the liberalism of challengers. House election outcomes are visibly influenced by the positions of incumbent candidates but not those of nonincumbent candidates. The paper argues that elections contribute significantly to achieving congressional representation. Candidate positions are measured from a 1974 CBS survey of all major House candidates.