The American Voter

William G. Jacoby

in The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199235476
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 The American Voter

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Ever since the appearance of The American Voter, there has been a general consensus among political scientists that three variables stand out as the most critical proximal influences on voting: personal attachments to political parties; individual reactions to public policy controversies; and evaluations of the candidates' personal characteristics. The theoretical importance of party identification stems from its temporal stability and broad influence across a range of other political beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. It is also significant because partisan attachments help to integrate individuals into the political world. Feelings about the candidates comprise a very reasonable heuristic device for cutting through the complexities that abound in any election campaign. The American Voter emphasized the importance of election-specific ‘short-term forces’.

Keywords: The American Voter; political parties; public policy; candidates; political behavior; partisan attachments; election campaign

Article.  7127 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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