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Political Geography, Church Attendance, and Mass Preferences Regarding Democratic Representation

Barker, D.C. and Carman, C.J. (2009) Political Geography, Church Attendance, and Mass Preferences Regarding Democratic Representation. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 19 (2). pp. 125-145. ISSN 1745-7289

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Abstract

The extent to which elected officials are chosen to either lead their constituents, on the one hand, or follow their wishes, on the other, is one of the foundational questions that republican forms of government must consider. Contemporary research, however, has thus far offered little analysis of the manner and extent to which mass public preferences vary on this dimension. In this article, we present an analysis that clusters respondents to a large N survey according to the dominant political subculture in which they reside. Our analysis finds that individuals residing in 'moralistic' states who are heavily immersed in community churches tend to hold 'trustee' oriented representational preferences, while people in individualistic states tend toward a preference for 'delegates'.