Studies of presidential veto use advance two competing theoretical perspectives: the "president-centered" approach and the "presidency-centered" approach. We assess the applicability of these approaches to gubernatorial veto activity. Our analysis of forty-eight states between 1971 and 2002 provides strong support for the institutional perspective and less support for the individual perspective. The governor's formal powers, the partisan alignment of the legislature, and the electoral cycle all contribute to veto activity. The results suggest that conflict between the legislature and the governor is a product of systematic forces and that governors who face similar institutional constraints will behave in similar ways.
- Divided government
- Electoral cycle
- Formal powers
- Legislative-executive relations
- State politics