Identifier

etd-04092007-155537

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

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.

Date

2007

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Robert E. Hogan

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