This paper evaluates whether lobbying influence is open to the highest bidder or boosted by congruence with popular opinion. Common wisdom holds that well-endowed organizations prevail in lobbying battles. This perception contrasts with recent observations, which point to the decisive role of public opinion. This paper unites these seemingly contrasting stances by arguing that both economic resources and congruence with public opinion are paramount for lobbying influence. What matters, we argue, is the interplay between the two. Lobby groups that already enjoy substantial economic capacities are expected to benefit most from congruence with public opinion. We test our expectations in the context of European Union policy making. We draw from a sample of 41 policy issues for which public opinion polls were conducted, an extensive content analysis of 2,085 news articles and 183 lobbyists' survey responses. We demonstrate that interest groups with more economic resources are generally more influential, but only if their policy positions are congruent with a public majority.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||European Journal of Political Research|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2023|
- interest groups
- public opinion
- CIVIL-SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
- LOBBYING STRATEGIES