The State of Surveying Legislators: Dilemmas and Suggestions

Cherie Maestas, Grant W. Neeley, Lilliard E. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


State-level research affords scholars a unique opportunity to study legislative behavior because state legislators are accessible in ways that members of congress are not. State legislators' willingness to respond to interviews and questionnaires has provided scholars with a rich array of data about their behavior and perceptions. This survey research has contributed greatly to our theoretical and practical knowledge of legislative behavior and institutions. We examine 73 articles published in top academic journals from 1975 to 2000 to identify common techniques of surveying state legislators and suggest ways in which scholars can enhance the prospects for collecting high quality data. We also consider what type of collective efforts could be undertaken to enhance this underutilized resource for studying legislative politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-108
Number of pages19
JournalState Politics & Policy Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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