Public Opinion on the Size of the House
DOI link for Public Opinion on the Size of the House
Public Opinion on the Size of the House book
The previous chapters dissected the effects of the representational tradeoff that have emerged from the 435-seat limit and the subsequent growth in the ratio of citizens per House district. The evidence uncovered indicated there have been some measurable costs to representation. Advocates of enlarging the House can cite these ﬁ ndings in the areas of policy responsiveness, service representation, and citizens’ attitudes toward their representatives to bolster their claims that an increase in the institution’s size would improve the overall quality of representation its members provide. Notwithstanding these effects, it is unclear whether the U.S. public would favor an enlargement of the House, the ultimate barometer of whether lawmakers are responsive to the wishes of their constituents on this matter. Public attitudes toward numerous aspects of American political institutions are limited in scope. Institutional size is a domain that has been especially ignored by survey researchers. Moreover, there has been a complete absence of survey data probing attitudes about the size of the U.S. House and the number of persons per congressional district. So a question remains to be answered about whether the public would embrace the increase in the size in the House called for in this book.