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Chief Executive Success in the Legislative Arena

Margaret Robertson Ferguson
State Politics & Policy Quarterly
Vol. 3, No. 2 (Summer, 2003), pp. 158-182
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40421486
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Chief Executive Success in the Legislative Arena
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Abstract

American chief executives are popularly believed to play a crucial leadership role in the legislative process, but this role is not well understood by scholars. This article develops a model of executive leadership success in the legislative arena based on personal, institutional, political, and economic factors and tests that model with data on the legislative priorities of the 50 state governors in 1993-94. Institutional features of the executive, which have been the focus of much scholarship, are found to have little effect on a governor's legislative success. On the other hand, the nature of the legislature is quite important here, with more professional legislatures actually encouraging executive leadership. A governor's personal characteristics, political party, and a state's economy also influence a governor's legislative success. These findings point to the importance of examining chief executives in the context in which they work if we are to understand their role as legislative leader.

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