Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Public preferences for Zika policy and responsibility in the absence of partisan cues

  • Jennifer M. Connolly (a1), Casey Klofstad (a1), Joseph Uscinski (a1) and Jonathan West (a1)
Abstract

In the absence of partisan ownership of an issue, what factors shape public preferences for federal, state and local policy action? The Zika virus provides a unique context in which to examine this question, as it is a new threat to public health in the United States and lacks clear partisan ownership. We examine (1) which Zika policies do citizens support, (2) at which level(s) of government and (3) what factors explain citizen assignment of policy responsibility to different levels of government? Using nationally representative survey data, we find that the three most popular policy responses to Zika are travel warnings, research funding and public education, with the federal government being the preferred policy actor. In the absence of clear partisan issue ownership, we find that Republicans are significantly more likely to prefer state policy action, while partisanship has no impact on public preferences for federal or local policy action.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email: jmconnolly@miami.edu
Footnotes
Hide All

Cite this article: Connolly J. M, Klofstad C, Uscinski J, West J. 2019. Public preferences for Zika policy and responsibility in the absence of partisan cues. Journal of Public Policy X: 1–26, doi:10.1017/S0143814X19000011

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Achen, CH Bartels, LM (2017) Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Alford, J (1993) Towards a New Public Management Model: Beyond ‘Managerialism’ and its Critics. Australian Journal of Public Administration 52(2): 135148.
Ansolabehere, S Schaffner, BF (2017) Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) common content, 2016. doi: 10.7910/DVN/GDF6Z0.
Arceneaux, K (2005) Does Federalism Weaken Democratic Representation in the United States? Publius: The Journal of Federalism 35(2): 297311.
Bennett, LL Bennett, SE (1990) Living with Leviathan: Americans Coming to Terms with Big Government. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
Boudreau, C MacKenzie, SA (2014) Informing the Electorate? How Party Cues and Policy Information Affect Public Opinion about Initiatives. American Journal of Political Science 58(1): 4862.
Brewer, TL (2004) US Public Opinion on Climate Change Issues: Implications for Consensus-Building and Policymaking. Climate Policy 4(4): 359376.
Broockman, D Butler, DM (2017) The Causal Effects of Elite Position-Taking on Voter Attitudes: Field Experiments with Elite Communication. American Journal of Political Science 61(1): 208221.
Bulman-Pozen, J (2013) Partisan Federalism. Harvard Law Review 127, 10771146.
Cahn, E (1997) The Co-Production Imperative. Social Policy 27(3): 6267.
Cantril, A Cantril, SD (1999) Reading Mixed Signals: Ambivalence in American Public Opinion About Government. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.
Cavari, A Freedman, G (2019) Partisan Cues and Opinion Formation on Foreign Policy. American Politics Research 47(1): 2957.
Chang, D (2017) Florida to Offer First Look at Zika Research Funded with $25 Million in Grants. Miami Herald, 6 October.
Chanley, V, Rudolph, TJ Rahn, WM (2000) The Origins and Consequences of Public Trust in Government: A Time Series Analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly 64(3): 239256.
Clinton, JD Grissom, JA (2015) Public Information, Public Learning and Public Opinion: Democratic Accountability in Education Policy. Journal of Public Policy 35(3): 355385.
Cole, RL Kincaid, J (2006) Public Opinion on US Federal and Intergovernmental Issues in 2006: Continuity and Change. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 36(3): 443459.
Conlan, TJ (1993) Federal, State, or Local? Trends in the Public’s Judgment. The Public Perspective 4, 310.
Dredze, M, Broniatowski, DA Hilyard, KM (2016) Zika Vaccine Misconceptions: A Social Media Analysis. Vaccine 34(30): 34413442.
Enns, PK (2015) Relative Policy Support and Coincidental Representation. Perspectives on Politics 13(4): 10531064.
Feather, NT (1985) Attitudes, Values, and Attributions: Explanations of Unemployment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48(4): 876.
Fox, M (2016) Miami Beach Protestors Shout Down Zika Meeting over Pesticide Use. NBC News, 14 September, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/zika-virus-outbreak/miami-beach-protesters-shout-down-zika-meeting-over-pesticide-use-n648256 (accessed 29 March 2017).
Gilens, M Page, BI (2014) Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics 12(3): 564581.
Glenza, J (2016) “Zika Virus: Floridians Fear ‘Pandora’s Box’ of Genetically Altered MosquitosThe Guardian.com, 14 August.
Goertzel, T (2010) Conspiracy Theories in Science. EMBO Reports 11(7): 493499.
Hetherington, MJ Nugent, JD (2001) Explaining Public Support for Devolution: The Role of Political Trust. In John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Mores (eds.), What is it About Government that Americans Dislike?. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 134155.
Iyengar, S (1989) How Citizens Think About Political Issues: A Matter of Responsibility. American Journal of Political Science 33, 878900.
Jacobs, N (2017) An Experimental Test of How Americans Think About Federalism. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 47(4): 572598.
Jacoby, WG (1988) The Impact of Party Identification on Issue Attitudes. American Journal of Political Science 32(3): 643661.
Jennings, W Wlezien, C (2015) Preferences, Problems and Representation. Political Science Research and Methods 3(3): 659681.
Kam, CD Mikos, RA (2007) Do Citizens Care About Federalism? An Experimental Test. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 4(3): 589624.
Kata, A (2010) A Postmodern Pandora’s Box: Anti-Vaccination Misinformation on the Internet. Vaccine 28(7): 17091716.
Kelleher, CA Wolak, J (2007) Explaining Public Confidence in the Branches of State Government. Political Research Quarterly 60(4): 707721.
Kluegel, JR (1990) Trends in Whites’ Explanations of the Black-White Gap in Socioeconomic Status, 1977-1989. American Sociological Review 55(4): 512525.
Kluegel, JR Smith, ER (2017) Beliefs About Inequality: Americans’ Views of What is and What Ought to Be. New York, NY: Routledge.
Konisky, D (2011) Public Preferences for Environmental Policy Responsibility. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 41(1): 76100.
Leighley, JE Oser, J (2017) Representation in an Era of Political and Economic Inequality: How and When Citizen Engagement Matters. Perspectives on Politics 16(2): 117.
Mechanic, D (2001) The Managed Care Backlash: Perceptions and Rhetoric in Health Care Policy and the Potential for Health Care Reform. The Milbank Quarterly 79(1): 3554.
Mikos, RA (2007) The Populist Safeguards of Federalism. Ohio St. Law Journal 68, 16691731.
Mishler, W Sheehan, RS (1993) The Supreme Court as a Countermajoritarian Institution? The Impact of Public Opinion on Supreme Court decisions. American Political Science Review 87(1): 87101.
Oehl, B, Schaffer, L Bernauer, T (2017) How to Measure Public Demand for Policies When There is No Appropriate Survey Data? Journal of Public Policy 37(2): 173204.
Page, BI (1994) Democratic Responsiveness? Untangling the Links Between Public Opinion and Policy. PS: Political Science & Politics 27(1): 2529.
Reher, S (2016) The Effects of Congruence in Policy Priorities on Satisfaction with Democracy. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 26(1): 4057.
Roeder, PW (1994) Public Opinion and Policy Leadership in the American States (No. 5). Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press.
Rosen, J (2016) How $1.1 Billion will be Spent on Zika. Miami Herald, 29 September.
Salmon, DA, Moulton, LH, Omer, SB, deHart, MP, Stokley, S Halsey, NA. (2005) Factors Associated With Refusal of Childhood Vaccines Among Parents of School-Aged Children: A Case-Control Study. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 159(5): 470476.
Schneider, SK Jacoby, WG (2003) Public Attitudes Toward the Policy Responsibilities of the National and State Governments: Evidence from South Carolina. State Politics and Policy Quarterly 3, 246269.
Schneider, SK Jacoby, WG (2008) Citizen’s Perceptions of Intergovernmental Policy Responsibilities. Paper Presented at the 2008 State Politics and Policy Conference, May, Philadelphia, PA.
Schneider, SK Jacoby, WG (2013) ‘Intuitive Federalism’ and Public Opinion Toward Government. APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper, American Political Science Association.
Schneider, SK, Jacoby, WG Lewis, DC (2011) Public Opinion Toward Intergovernmental Policy Responsibilities. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 41(1): 130.
Segall, M (2000) From Cooperation to Competition in National Health Systems—and Back?: Impact on Professional Ethics and Quality of Care. The International Journal of Health Planning and Management 15(1): 6179.
Sharma, M, Yadav, K, Yadav, N Ferdinand, KC (2017) Zika Virus Pandemic: Analysis of Facebook as a Social Media Health Information Platform. American Journal of Infection Control 45(3): 301302.
Shaw, GM Reinhart, SL (2001) Trends: Devolution and Confidence in Government. The Public Opinion Quarterly 65(3): 369388.
Soroka, SN Wlezien, C (2010) Degrees of Democracy: Politics, Public Opinion, and Policy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Stimson, JA, MacKuen, MB Erikson, RS (1995) Dynamic Representation. American Political Science Review 89(3): 543565.
Taylor-Gooby, P (1982) Two Cheers for the Welfare State: Public Opinion and Private Welfare. Journal of Public Policy 2(4): 319346.
Texas Health and Human Services (2018) Texas Zika Materials, www.texaszika.org/materials.htm (accessed 29 March 2017).
Uslaner, EM (2001) Is Washington Really the Problem? In Hibbing J and Theiss-Morse E (eds.), What is it About Government that Americans Dislike. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 118–133.
Viglucci, A (2016) Is Insecticide Sprayed to Fight Zika a Risk for People and Wildlife? Miami Herald, 12 August.
Welsh, T Pringle, M (2001) Editorial. Social capital: Trusts Need to Recreate Trust. British Medical Journal 323, 177178.
Wlezien, C (1995) The Public as Thermostat: Dynamics of Preferences for Spending. American Journal of Political Science 39(4): 9811000.
Wlezien, C (2017) Public Opinion and Policy Representation: On Conceptualization, Measurement, and Interpretation. Policy Studies Journal 45(4): 561582.
Zaller, J (1992) The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Verba, S, Schlozman, KL Brady, HE (1995) Voice and Equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Public Policy
  • ISSN: 0143-814X
  • EISSN: 1469-7815
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-public-policy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Connolly et al. supplementary material
Connolly et al. supplementary material 1

 Word (98 KB)
98 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Connolly et al. dataset
Dataset

 Unknown

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed