Models of congressional approval have, in both theory and specification, often imitated models of presidential approval. Through their modeling decisions, researchers have implicitly assumed that the economic determinants of presidential and congressional approval are identical. Such assumptions have discouraged other researchers from testing competing hypotheses about the economic determinants of congressional approval. Using aggregate-level time-series analysis, this study investigates the question of whether or not the economic determinants of approval vary by the target of political judgment. I find that presidential approval is driven largely by sociotropic prospections, a result consistent with previous research. In contrast, I find the public relies most heavily upon egocentric retrospections when judging the U.S. Congress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science