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Predicting Legislative Effectiveness: Is the Effectiveness of a Lawmaker Related to Past Success in a State Legislative Body?

Presenters Name: 
Quentin Milligan
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Craig Volden
Secondary Research Mentor: 
11:00 - 12:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

There are many different factors that contribute to a legislator's effectiveness, and perhaps one of the strongest among armchair political scientists is a track record in a previous lawmaking position. Knowing whether a politician's successfully sponsored bills in a state legislative body relates to his effectiveness at a national level will help people understand what they should look for when voting or sponsoring candidates. First, we found every bill in state legislatures that was mentioned in the capital newspaper for the past fifteen to twenty years, dependent on how far back that state kept updated online records. We recorded who sponsored the bills and how many times they were mentioned. Next, we found the sponsors who then went on to serve in Congresses that the Center for Effective Lawmaking has published Effectiveness Rankings for. After we finish this collection process, we will analyze the data to see if there is a strong relationship between the bills sponsored and the effectiveness ranking for those policymakers. Because there are fifty states each with thousands of data points, we have not yet finished our research.