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The importance of public opinion in the determination of public policy is the subject of considerable debate. Professors Erikson, Wright, and McIver make the argument that state policies are highly responsive to public opinion, and they show how the institutions of state politics work to achieve this high level of responsiveness. They analyze state policies from the 1930s to the present, drawing from and contributing to major lines of research on American politics. Their conclusions are applied to central questions of democratic theory, and affirm the robust character of state institutions.
Preface; 1. Democratic states; 2. Measuring state partisanship and ideology; 3. Accounting for state differences in opinion; 4. Public opinion and policy in the American states; 5. State parties and state policy; 6. Legislative elections and state policy; 7. Political culture and policy representation; 8. Partisanship, ideology and state elections; 9. State opinion over time; 10. Conclusions: democracy in the American states; References; Index.