Coordinating Voting in American Presidential and House Elections
Mebane, Walter R.
I describe and estimate a probabilistic voting model designed to test
whether individuals' votes for President and for the House of
Representatives are coordinated with respect to two cutpoints on a single
spatial dimension, in the way that Alesina and Rosenthal's pivotal voter
theorem suggests they should be. In my model the cutpoints are random
variables about which each individual has a subjective probability
distribution. Each person's probabilistic coordinating voting behavior
occurs relative to the cutpoints' expected values under the distribution.
The model implements the idea the pattern of coordination depends on an
individual's evaluation of the economy. The economic bias in the
coordinating pattern implies that voters punish a Democratic President for
success in improving the economy. The economically successful Democratic
President can avoid losses only if the voters who rate the economy as having
improved also believe that the policy position of the Democratic party has
shifted to the right.
pivotal voter theorem
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