Reassessing presidential influence on state legislative election outcomes
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I reassess the influence of presidential approval on state legislative election outcomes, incorporating the period from the 1940s to the 1970s in my analysis. Previous research finds that presidential approval has a significant effect, but such findings may be biased-they focus on elections after the 1970s, when the president was more visible to the public. Using an original state partisan balance dataset, I measure the effects of presidential approval and find that it has as much influence on state legislative elections from the 1940s to the early 1970s. These findings may engender concerns of state legislative accountability-if state legislators’ electoral prospects become increasingly reliant upon assessments of the president than themselves, they are less likely to feel beholden to voters and uphold their interests.