The Electoral Consequences of Policy Principles

Paul Goren

in On Voter Competence

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396140
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979301 | DOI:

Series: Series in Political Psychology

The Electoral Consequences of Policy Principles

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This chapter analyzes the relationship between policy principle and the presidential vote. The chapter begins with a summary of leading theories of electoral behavior: the partisan voter model, the retrospective voter model, and the ideological voter model. Next, data from the 1988–2008 NES surveys are used to model the presidential vote as a function of predictors drawn from each perspective alongside the limited government, moral tradition, and military strength variables. Analysis demonstrates that policy principles systematically guide candidate choice in every election and, most critically, that the unsophisticated rely as much on policy principles as the sophisticated. In addition, there is strong evidence that sophistication promotes liberal-conservative voting and that issues do not routinely affect the vote.

Keywords: voters; voting behavior; elections

Chapter.  12141 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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