Marching orders? : U.S. party platforms and legislative agenda setting 1948-2014
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What is the relationship between the priorities expressed in party platforms before an election and the subsequent legislative agenda? The agenda setting literature often deemphasizes the role of political parties in agenda setting. However, parties will often express different issue priorities during elections, and compete based on those priorities. The paper utilizes new data from the U.S. Policy Agendas Project and Wolbrecht (2016) on policy attention in U.S. party platforms to study the relationship between U.S. parties and legislative activities in Congress. A time series cross sectional analysis finds strong evidence to support the proposition that legislative agendas are influenced by the platform of the President’s party in the short term, although the relationship differs for different types of agendas and by issue, and fades over time.