I explore the extent to which the campaign appeals made by congressional candidates serve as credible signals about the issues they will pursue in office. My analyses focus on the televised advertisements of 391 House candidates in the 1998, 2000, and 2002 elections and the content of their subsequent legislative activity in the 106th108th Congresses. I track candidates' and legislators' attention to a set of 18 different issues and show that legislators do indeed follow through on the appeals they make in campaigns. However, the strength of the linkages between campaign appeals and legislative activity varies in a systematic fashion with features of candidates' rhetoric. These findings illustrate the value of extending the study of campaigns to include phenomena that occur after Election Day and of conceiving of the linkages between electoral and legislative politics as a locus for representation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science