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The Impression of InfluenceLegislator Communication, Representation, and Democratic Accountability$
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Justin Grimmer, Sean J. Westwood, and Solomon Messing

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162614

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162614.001.0001

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Creating an Impression, Not Just Increasing Name Recognition

Creating an Impression, Not Just Increasing Name Recognition

(p.64) Chapter 4 Creating an Impression, Not Just Increasing Name Recognition
The Impression of Influence

Justin Grimmer

Sean J. Westwood

Solomon Messing

Princeton University Press

This chapter demonstrates that legislators' credit-claiming efforts do more than simply bolster name recognition—they also cultivate an impression of influence over federal funds. It examines the results of an experiment conducted on a major social media website—a setting where constituents regularly receive messages like the ones used in this book's experiment from their member of Congress. Using this study's experimental design, the chapter shows that credit-claiming messages do make constituents more familiar with their representative, but the credit-claiming messages also lead constituents to infer that their legislator is more effective at delivering money to the district. The result is that credit-claiming messages cause a larger increase in overall support than other types of messages.

Keywords:   credit-claiming messages, legislators, name recognition, influence, federal funds

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