Title page for ETD etd-04092007-155537

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bruce, Jr., Michael
Author's Email Address mbruce5@lsu.edu
URN etd-04092007-155537
Title Linking Public Opinion to State Legislative Behavior: The Partial Birth Abortion Issue
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert E. Hogan Committee Chair
Kathleen A. Bratton Committee Member
Leonard Ray Committee Member
  • fundamentalism
  • citizen ideology
  • government ideology
  • evangelical protestants
  • nrlc
Date of Defense 2007-03-07
Availability unrestricted
The effect of public opinion on state legislative behavior has been an important and extensively explored topic. However, not much research has been conducted regarding public opinion on the abortion issue and how it influences state legislative behavior. Previous theory suggests that highly salient and controversial issues increase the probability that state legislators will respond to public opinion when voting. Arguing that issue salience and interest groups act as facilitating factors, I hypothesize that public opinion plays a significant role in determining whether or not state legislatures pass bans on partial birth abortion. Using Brace et al (2002) state-level opinion on abortion as a measure of public opinion and employing a binary logistic regression, I find that public opinion plays a significant role in influencing state legislative behavior on the partial birth abortion issue after controlling for other factors. Furthermore, issue salience and interest groups act as important facilitating factors connecting public opinion to state legislative behavior on partial birth abortion bans.
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