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The President's Legislative Influence from Public Appeals
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 313-329
Published by: Midwest Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2669343
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Political science, Budget appropriations, Government budgets, Government spending, Public opinion, Coefficients, Variable budgets, Control variables, Federal budgets, Political partisanship
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Despite scholars' long-standing appreciation of modern American presidents' plebiscitary powers, no study offers evidence that public appeals systematically facilitate influence, and some research indicates they can actually decrease presidential bargaining power. Our analysis resolves this disparity, developing a theoretical perspective of plebiscitary appeals and testing it on data from the nationally televised addresses of Presidents Eisenhower through Clinton. The perspective suggests that appeals should generate influence, but that this influence depends on presidents strategically choosing issues to promote to the public. In particular, a president will promote issues on which his position is popular, but for which Congress would not otherwise enact his preferred policy. To test this perspective, we analyze a simultaneous-equations model of the causes and policy consequences of presidential appeals over budgetary policy. The results support the hypotheses, establishing the effectiveness of public strategies and conditions to which this effectiveness is limited.
American Journal of Political Science © 2001 Midwest Political Science Association