Read time: 2 minutes

Study: Lawmakers Assume Voters Are Way More Conservative Than They Are

That's why it's important to let them know otherwise.
Study: Lawmakers Assume Voters Are Way More Conservative Than They Are

Maybe because they hear from lobbyists more than they hear from us, which continues the whole crazy cycle? Via TPM:

Researchers from UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan dug up some surprising results after posing the question: How much do lawmakers really know about their voters' political views?

"Pick an American state legislator at random, and chances are that he or she will have massive misperceptions about district views on big-ticket issues, typically missing the mark by 15 percentage points," David Broockman and Christopher Skovron wrote in a study for the Scholarly Strategy Network originally published in 2013.

To investigate the question, the duo surveyed thousands of state legislators and compared their perceptions of voters to people's actual views, derived from a large body of public opinion data.

Their conclusion: "Legislators usually believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are."

On three issues — universal healthcare, same-sex marriage, and welfare — lawmakers' assumptions about what their constituents believed were "15-20 percent more conservative, on average," than the actual base of public support for such issues.

This is why I'm forever urging you to write or call your representatives. The other side is well organized and always happy to pick up a phone and rant-- while our side is full of disgruntled people who say, "What's the use? They never listen anyway."

How are they supposed to know what you think if you don't tell them?

Democratic voters need to get better at the long game. Just because you don't win right away doesn't mean your call didn't count. I guarantee you there's a staffer keeping track, who tells the member, "Calls in favor of this are up 31% over three years. We should talk about this."

Yes, even the Republican legislators. They like their jobs, they want to keep them. When voters reach critical mass on an issue, of course they're going to pay attention.

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $21 for 2021? Please consider a one-time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team