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On Whose Door to Knock? Organized Interests' Strategic Pursuit of Access to Members of Congress.

  • Academic Journal
  • Legislative Studies Quarterly. Feb2022, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p157-192. 36p.
  • Organized interests routinely seek direct contacts with, or access to, members of Congress to advance their policy goals. While studies often explore the tactics interests use to obtain access, few examine interests' strategic considerations in choosing which members to target. Furthermore, the few empirical studies that examine organized interests' targeting strategies yield inconclusive results concerning the types of members interests target. This article presents a conjoint experiment with federal lobbyists and policy advocates—a novel experimental sample in political science—to evaluate which types of members organized interests target when trying to advance a proposal in an empirical framework that addresses some of the inferential challenges faced by prior studies. The results indicate that organized interests target members who are undecided on or are weak supporters of the proposal of interest and who possess institutional roles providing them with influence over the proposal at its current stage of the legislative process. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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