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Below results based on the criteria 'issue voting'
Total number of records returned: 7
Explaining the Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1980-1992
Alvarez, R. Michael
general-extreme value model
This paper compares the voting behavior of women and men in presidential elections since 1980 to test competing explanations for the gender gap. We show that, consistent with prior research on individual elections, women placed more emphasis on the national economy than men, and men placed more emphasis on pocketbook voting than women. We add evidence showing that women have consistently more negative assessments of the economy than do men, suggesting that a part of what has been considered a Republican-Democratic gender gap is really an anti-incumbent bias on the part of women. Our multivariate analysis demonstrates that neither the differences between men and women's preferences nor emphasis on any single issue explains the significant gender gap in vote choice; but that a combination of respondent views on the economy, social programs, military action, abortion, and ideology can consistently explain at least three-fourths of the gender gap in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 elections. We also clarify the interpretation of partisan identification in explaining the gender gap.
Heterogeneity, Salience, and Voter Decision Rules for Candidate Preference
rank ordered logit
Voters in American Presidential elections display a wide variety of decision rules when choosing a candidate. One form of this heterogeneity is differential weighting of issues used to make a vote choice. The structure of this heterogeneity and differential salience of issues has important implications for the American political process. Determining the nature of these heterogeneous preferences is vital to understanding electoral politics in the United States. An empirical technique for modeling and exploring heterogeneity is developed and applied to the 1980 NES Panel Study. I show that heterogeneity in voter decision rules is widespread, and that while many voters rely on non-issue considerations when determining candidate preference, issue voting does play a role in the decision rules of many voters.
Who's a Directional Voter and Who's a Proximity Voter? An Application of Finite Mixture Modeling to Issue Voting in the 2008 American Presidential Election
finite mixture modeling
This project aims to use new methodology to help settle a longstanding debate in American politics: whether proximity or directional distance is more appropriate for voting models in Presidential elections; whether the two distances are better fits for different subsets of the electorate; and if so, what are the characteristics of the voters for whom each distance fits best? Unlike previous attempts to judge between the directional and proximity models, which have used summary statistics generated at the level of the whole sample to make inferences, this study compares the fit of the models for each individual observation. A finite mixture model, as recently described by Imai and Tingley (2012), estimates the probability that each observation could have been generated by each competing model. These probabilities can then be modeled using other covariates. Using the 2008 American National Election Study, I estimate the probability that each voter is using each kind of issue distance, and I test the hypothesis that voters with higher levels of political sophistication are more likely to evaluate candidates using a proximity model, and voters with lower levels of sophistication are more likely to evaluate candidates using a directional model. While strong evidence suggests that some voters are directional and some are proximity, no evidence is found that suggests sophistication influences the probability that each voter is directional or proximity. In addition, like previous studies, the relative strength of the directional and proximity models is found to depend crucially on modeling decisions, especially the use of each candidate's average placement in the sample versus each respondent's idiosyncratic placement of the candidates.
An Experimental Test of Proximity and Directional Voting
Lewis and King (2000) discuss difficulties in evaluating the proximity hypothesis about issue voting versus the directional hypothesis. In this paper, we propose as a solution to this problem is asking individuals to evaluate candidates generated to represent certain issue positions experimentally. Such an approach controls candidates' positions, while holding other features constant, presents these fictitious candidates to randomly assigned subjects, and examines whether the relationship between subjects' evaluations of these candidates and their ideological beliefs is consistent with proximity or directional theory. Our results provide slightly more support for proximity theory, but our data are not entirely conclusive on this point.
Issue Voting and Ecological Inference
Thomsen, Soren R.
This article proposes a unifying framework for individual and aggregate voting behavior. The proposed individual level model is a version of the multinomial logit model that applies to both issue voting, ideological voting and normative voting providing a close fit to survey data. The aggregate model is derived by using the binary logit model as an approximation to the multinomial logit model. The aggregate model is useful for modeling electoral change and for identification of homogenous political regions. Further, the unifying framework derives a method for ecological inference that applies to large tables and gives estimates of voter transitions close to survery results.
Issues, Economics and the Dynamics of Multi-Party Elections: The British 1987 General Election
Alvarez, R. Michael
This paper offers a model of three-party elections which allows voters to combine retrospective economic evaluations with considerations of the positions of the parties in the issue-space as well as the issue-preferences of the voters. We describe a model of British elections which allows voters to consider simultaneously all three parties, rather than limiting voters to choices among pairs of parties as is usually done. Using this model we show that both policy issues and the state of the national economy matter in British elections. We also show how voters framed their decisions. Voters first made a retrospective evaluation of the Conservative party based on economic performance; and those voters that rejected the Conservative party chose between Labour and Alliance based on issue positions. Through simulations of the effects of issues -- we move the parties in the issue space and re-estimate vote-shares -- and the economy -- we hypothesize an alternative distribution of views of the economy for voters -- we show that Labour has virtually no chance to win with the Alliance as a viable alternative. Even if the Alliance (or the Liberal Democrats) disappears, Labour will need to significantly moderate its policy positions to have a chance of competing with the Conservative party. We argue that the methodological technique we employ, multinomial probit, is a superior mechanism for studying three-party elections as it allows for a richer formulation of politics than do competing methods.
Attitudes, Uncertainty and Survey Responses
Alvarez, R. Michael
Theory: We assume that survey respondents are uncertain about their attitudes, and that their attitudes about political issues can be understood as probability distributions. From this perspective, we derive the ``expected value'' survey response model. We also derive a dynamic model of attitude change, based on the notion that attitudes are uncertain. Hypotheses: This perspective on political attitudes leads to two predictions. The first is that uncertain respondents will show less variance in responses than certain respondents, and that the less certain will tend to give responses towards the midpoint of issue placement scales. The second is that uncertain respondents will have less stable opinions about political issues over time. Methods: These hypotheses are tested using new survey questions we have developed to measure respondent uncertainty. These survey questions have been included in three recent national surveys, two conducted by the Letters and Sciences Survey Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the other by the National Election Studies. Results: We demonstrate that uncertain respondents are more likely that certain respondents to provide issue placements at the midpoint of the scale, controlling for many factors. Also, we show that uncertain respondents have less stable political attitudes than certain respondents.