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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Democratic Accountability and Institutional Reform: Lessons from California's 2010 Angry Electorate


In 2010, California’s voters responded to the state legislature’s increasing delays in passing abudget by voting to shift the state budget requirement to a simple majority from a supermajority.For Republican voters, this risked the relevance of the state party in the legislature; nevertheless,in a sample drawn from before the election, many Republicans do not adopt the party line of opposingthe measure. Republican voters are more likely to engage in accountability through institutionalreform rather than accountability through punishing their party’s candidate for governor;in this sample, more Republicans explicitly support their own candidate than oppose the measurereducing their legislative leverage.

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