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MacDonald and Sigelman: Public assessments of gubernatorial performance

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

MacDonald and Sigelman. 1999. Public assessments of gubernatorial performance: A comparative state analysis. American Politics Quarterly 27 (April): 201-215.

In Brief

Using a cross-sectional survey of governors' approval ratings in all 50 states, the authors seek to address seven hypotheses. Previous research has focused on gubernatorial elections in testing hypotheses about gubernatorial popularity; by looking outside of the campaign context, the authors seek to test these theories further.

Seven Hypotheses

Partisan leanings

Retail Politics

Social and Cultural Diversity

Ideological Diversity

Tax Increases

State Economic Performance

Institutional Power

Comments and Criticism

Some of the arguments seemed ad hoc, particularly the socioeconomic diversity argument. And why do they expect only some of the variables to have a more pronounced effect during election years?

Research by the same authors

Research on similar subjects


MacDonald, Jason (author)Sigelman, Lee (author)American PoliticsState Politics (U.S.)Gubernatorial ElectionsPublic Opinion

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