Data shows conservative lawmakers out of touch with conservative voters

From NOW with Alex Wagner, 3/8/12

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the survey of 2,000 state legislators from across America, both Democrats and Republicans, show that politicians are extremely out of touch with who they're supposed to be representing. Lawmakers from both parties consistently thought their constituents were far more conservatives than they actually are. The report found that it was worse for conservatives. "Conservative politicians systematically believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are by over 20 percentage points. This misperception is so large that nearly half of sitting conservative officeholders appear to believe that they represent a district that is more conservative on the issues than the most conservative district in the entire country."

David Sarota also reported on this study in his March 8 column: Lawmakers don't know what's on our minds

Broockman and Skovron argue that one answer has to do with the prevalence of right-leaning mythology. Citing "Richard Nixon's pronouncement that a 'silent majority' of Americans backed his policies" and "Sarah Palin's suggestion that a latent 'real America' supported her," the researchers correctly note that there remains "a folk theory among conservative politicians that the American public is considerably more conservative than it seems at face value." This theory is undoubtedly fueled by a Fox News-ified media that pushes such inaccurate fables.