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How Women Represent WomenPolitical Parties, Gender and Representation in the State Legislatures$
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Tracy L. Osborn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199845347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199845347.001.0001

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Institutional Partisanship and Roll Call Voting

Institutional Partisanship and Roll Call Voting

(p.121) Chapter 6 Institutional Partisanship and Roll Call Voting
How Women Represent Women

Tracy L. Osborn

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 offers the final empirical test of party identity and institutional partisanship using roll call votes in the state legislative chambers. Party identity pervades roll call voting, in that votes on women’s issues legislation typically divide women and men legislators along party lines or pass with near unanimity between partisans. Rarely do partisan women step outside of their party identity to cross lines and support a women’s issue position with women of the other party. The strength of institutional partisanship determines women legislators’ voting to some degree; on several women’s issues votes it appears even more difficult for women legislators to abandon a party position on a vote because of a closely held party majority. However, because the underlying effect of party identity splits women’s votes along party lines on women’s issues even in weak institutional party chambers, it remains somewhat difficult to separate the effect of party identity from that of institutional partisanship on roll call voting.

Keywords:   roll call voting, women’s issues, legislative parties, majority party, party strength

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