Measuring the ideology of voters and legislators has long been of interest to political scientists. Recently, a literature has emerged seeking to combine methodologies so as to measure ideology in a common space. In turn, these common space measures are employed to estimate legislative accountability and ideological congruence. While these attempts have been fruitful, they frequently rely on highly specific data formats and increasing computational complexity. I show that, with minimal assumptions, existing unfolding techniques may be employed that provide common space estimates of the president, members of Congress, governors, the Supreme Court, and other national political actors in a common space. The method is applied to the 2009-12 waves of the Cooperative Campaign Election Study (CCES). The results match the results from more complex approaches and, moreover, provide the flexibility required to assess hypotheses about changes over time. I use these estimates to examine patterns of gubernatorial "leapfrog" representation over the last several years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science