Large-N Bill Positions Data from MapLight.org: What Can We Learn from Interest Groups’ Publicly Observable Legislative Positions?
The transparency organization MapLight records instances of organizations taking positions for and against legislation in Congress. The dataset comprises some 130,000 such positions taken on thousands of bills between the 109th and 115th Congresses (2005–2018). The depth and breadth of these data potentially give them wide applicability for answering questions about interest group behavior and influence as well as legislative politics more broadly. However, the coverage and content of the data are affected by aspects of MapLight’s research process. This article introduces the MapLight dataset and its potential uses, examines issues related to sampling and other aspects of MapLight’s research process, and explains how scholars can address these to make appropriate use of the data.
Lorenz, G. M., Furnas, A. C., & Crosson, J. M. (2020). Large-N bill positions data from MapLight.org: What can we learn from interest groups’ publicly observable legislative positions?. Interest Groups and Advocacy, 9(3), 342-360. http://doi.org/10.1057/s41309-020-00085-x
Interest Groups and Advocacy