by w3woody

Do Republicans give their representatives more ideological slack?

According to several years of nationally representative survey data, about two-thirds of Americans believe that elected representatives should “try their hardest to give the people what they want.” Remarkably, however, Republican voters are between 20 and 30 points less likely than their Democratic counterparts to agree. Moreover, people represented by a Republican member of Congress are almost 20 percentage points less likely to perceive their member as behaving that way, regardless of their own party identification.

It’s not as nefarious as it sounds. Republican voters, whether they consciously realize it or not, are more comfortable with what political scientists call “trustee-style representation,” whereby representatives use their own principled judgment when casting votes. In contrast, the “delegate style” binds legislators to constituent demands.

Basically, if a Republican congress member voted in by a group of Republicans vote liberal on a piece of legislation, she’ll be cut more slack by her constituents than of a Democrat congress member voted in by a group of Democrats voted conservative.

Because Republicans realize we live in a representative constitutional republic, while Democrats would rather we live in a direct democracy. True, interestingly enough, to the name of the respective parties.