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Below results based on the criteria 'issues'
Total number of records returned: 4
Economics, Entitlements and Social Issues: Voter Choice in the 1996 Presidential Election
Alvarez, R. Michael
In this paper we examine three sets of explanations for the outcome of the 1996 presidential election campaign. First, we look at the effects of voter perceptions of the national economy on voter support for Clinton. Second we look at the effects of candidate and voter positions on a number of issues and on ideology. Last, we seek to understand whether other issues --- social issues such as abortion as well as issues revolving around entitlements and taxation --- played significant roles in this election. Thus this work extends the work of Alvarez and Nagler (1995), and enriches it with analysis of a more comprehensive set of issues considered. In the end, we are able to pull together each of these different sets of explanations into a consistent analysis of the 1996 presidential election which shows why Clinton won this race, but which also helps us understand why it was that both Dole and Perot fell so far from electoral victory.
Direct Democracy and Social Issues
This paper explores the connection between the initiative process -- the most potent form of direct democracy -- and social issues by examining laws on seven social issues in all 50 American states. Initiative states are 18 percent more likely than noninitiative states to choose a conservative than a liberal policy on the median issue after controlling for public opinion, demographic, and regional variables. The conservative shift is majoritarian: initiative states are 8 percent more likely than noninitiative states to choose laws that reflect the majority's preference. The initiative effect does not appear to depend on the institutional features that scholars and reformers often discuss.
Is Abortion A Wedge Issue for Latino Voters?
Abrajano, Marisa A.
Alvarez, R. Michael
In 2000 both major parties courted the growing Latino vote. Republicans hoped to benefit among this group based on the party's pro-life position and the belief that Latinos tend to be ideologically conservative, and that Latinos, in general, are Catholic. We present evidence indicating that this strategy of appealing to Latinos based on George Bush's pro-life stance garnered him fewer votes from the Latino electorate than Republican strategists hoped. While our results confirm that abortion is influential on vote choice at the individual level, abortion's impact at the aggregate level is smaller. When we say abortion is influential at the individual level, we mean that an individual voter is affected by the candidate's position on abortion. The `effect' of abortion we talk about in this case is the change in the probability of a voter choosing Bush (or Gore) if the voter were to change his or her position on abortion while the candidates' positions on abortion remained fixed. However, at the aggregate level we are looking at what would happen if one or the other of the candidates changed his position on abortion. A change in Bush's position would affect all voters. However, abortion's relatively small aggregate level of influence when compared to its impact at the individual level is due to the fact that such a change of position by a candidate would cause him to win some Latino votes based on his abortion stance, and at the same time it would also cause him to lose Latino votes from those who have the opposite view of abortion. As such, when these Latino votes are aggregated, the overall impact of abortion on the total vote is minimal, because the two effects tend to cancel each other out. Our findings are the first we are aware of to measure this overall impact of abortion, though several previous studies (Abramowitz 1995, Alvarez and Nagler 1995 and 1998) have demonstrated the importance of abortion at the individual level. We expect our findings to be applicable to the entire electorate, not just Latinos.
Parties, Issue Spaces, and Voting: A Comparative Perspective
Alvarez, R. Michael
Willette, Jennifer R.
An important property of any party system is the set of choices it presents to the electorate. In this paper we analyze the distribution of the parties in the multidimensional issue space, and introduce the notion of compactness of the party system. We show how compactness can be measured using standard survey items found on national election surveys. By measuring the spacing of the parties relative to the distribution of the voters, we are able to compute a metric-free measure of compactness of the party system. Comparing the compactness of party systems across countries allows us to determine the relative amount of issue choice afforded voters in different polities. We test the impact compactness of the party space has on voter choice in four countries: the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, and Great Britain. We demonstrate that the more compact the issue space on any issue, the less voters weight that issue in making their vote decision. Thus we provide evidence for theories of issue voting.