Author(s): Virginia Gray, David Lowery, Matthew Fellowes, Andrea Mcatee
This article examines whether organized interests alter the strong opinion-policy linkage observed by Erikson, Wright, and McIver (1993). We first replicate the EWM model circa 1980 with the addition of measures of interest organization density and diversity under a variety of specifications. We then extend the analysis to the contemporary period, using EWMs’ new public opinion data through 1999. To execute this second stage of the analysis, we construct a new index of policy liberalism circa 2000 comparable to EWMs’ 1980 measure. Our results suggest that interest community bias in favor of traditional economic interests modestly weakens policy liberalism responsiveness, but that simply having many organized interests registered to lobby may promote more liberal policy.