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Partisan Differences on Environmental Issues: A Congressional Roll-Call Analysis

Riley E. Dunlap and Michael Patrick Allen
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 29, No. 3 (Sep., 1976), pp. 384-397
DOI: 10.2307/447511
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/447511
Page Count: 14
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Partisan Differences on Environmental Issues: A Congressional Roll-Call Analysis
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Abstract

Recent studies have challenged the assumption that environmental quality is a non-partisan issue. Evidence from three state legislatures indicates the existence of significant partisan differences, with Democrats being more "pro-environment" than Republicans. We report similar results at the congressional level. First, available literature suggests that there were significant differences between the parties prior to the rise of "Ecology" as a national issue (Democrats more "pro-environmental"). Second, roll-call analysis of environmental measures in the House (92nd Congress) indicates that Democrats rank significantly higher in "pro-environment" voting than Republicans. The relationship between party and pro-environment voting persists after the possibly confounding effects of constituency influence and personal characteristics of representatives are controlled for via partial correlation. Further, pro-environment voting is highly correlated with indicators of liberal-conservative voting (liberals significantly more pro-environment).

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