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Below results based on the criteria 'voting'
Total number of records returned: 101

Noncommutative harmonic analysis of voting in small committees
Lawson, Brian
Orrison, Michael
Uminsky, David

Uploaded 07-13-2003
Keywords spectral analysis
noncommutative harmoinc analysis
voting analysis
supreme court
Abstract This paper introduces a new method, noncommutative harmonic analysis, as a tool for political scientists. The method is based on recent results in mathematics which systematically identify coalitions in voting data. The first section shows how this new approach, noncommutative harmonic analysis is a generalization of classical spectral analysis. The second section shows how noncommutative harmonic analysis is applied to a hypothetical example. The third section uses noncommutative harmonic analysis to analyze coalitions on the Supreme Court. The final section suggests ideas for extending the approach presented here to the study of voting in legislatures and preferences over candidates in multicandidate mass elections.

The Likely Consequences of Internet Voting for Political Representation
Alvarez, R. Michael
Nagler, Jonathan

Uploaded 11-03-2000
Keywords Internet voting
digital divide
civil rights act
Abstract In this paper we examine how internet voting might impact political representation. We begin by reviewing the existing academic literature on NVRA and vote-by-mail elections, and then we turn more directly to the internet and electronic elections. First we look carefully at the ``digital divide'' in the United States, using recent survey data. Then we examine the sole existing electoral experiment with internet voting: the 2000 Arizona Democratic presidential primary. We provide evidence indicating that the internet voting experiment in Arizona might have had a negative impact on minority voter rights and political representation. After that, we consider the possible constituencies for internet voting, using polling data from California. We conclude with a summary of our results and our inferences the representational consequences of internet voting.

Indifference, Voting, and Abstention in the 1976 Presidential Election
Herron, Michael C.

Uploaded 05-19-1998
Keywords 1976 election
Abstract This paper develops a statistical model of voting and abstention and applies it to the presidential election of 1976, a contest between incumbent president Gerald Ford and Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter. Our model is grounded in random utility theory, and, unlike many extant models of voting and abstention, its treatment of turnout focuses on the distinction between political extremists and individuals who were close to indifferent between Ford and Carter. We expect that individuals close to indifferent abstained at lower rates than political extremists. And, in light of research which highlights relatively high abstention rates among Democratic supporters, our model allows politically--left extremists to abstain at different rates than politically--right extremists. We uncover some evidence that indifference between Ford and Carter exerted a downward influence on voting propensity in 1976. However, there is much stronger evidence that individuals who were politically--left extremists abstained at higher rates than all others. We also find that individuals who anticipated a close election in 1976 voted at higher rates than those who expected a lopsided victory. The value of the paper's model is its focus on the relation between abstention and strength of preference. Generalizations and applications of the model to additional presidential elections should foster a determination of whether indifference is as important to abstention as is politically--left extremism.

The Resurgence of Nativism in California? The Case of Proposition 187 and Illegal Immigration
Alvarez, R. Michael
Butterfield, Tara L.

Uploaded 09-25-1997
Keywords two-stage probit
discrete choice
binary probit
propositions and initiatives
economic voting
illegal immigration
immigration reform
California politics
Abstract We argue that support among California voters for Proposition 187 in 1994 was an example of cyclical nativism. This nativism was provoked primarily by California's economic downturn during the early 1990s. We develop four specific hypotheses to explain how poor economic conditions in California and the consequent nativistic sentiments would result in support for Proposition 187: 1) voters who believe that California's economic condition is poor will be more likely to support Proposition 187; 2) voters who perceive themselves as being economically threatened by illegal immigrants will be more likely to support Proposition 187; 3) voters with lower levels of education are more economically vulnerable and will be more likely to support Proposition 187; 4) voters in Southern California feel more directly affected by illegal immigration and will be more likely to support Proposition 187. To test these hypotheses, we analyze voter exit poll data from the 1994 California election. We utilize a two-stage probit model to allow for the endogeneity which results from the politicization of illegal immigration during this election. We find support for our hypotheses in the data. These findings cause us to conclude that nativism, fueled by economic conditions, was a salient factor leading many Californians to support Proposition 187.

Breaking Up Isn't So Hard to Do: Ecological Inference and Split-Ticket Voting in the 1988 Presidential Election
Burden, Barry C.
Kimball, David

Uploaded 04-01-1997
Keywords ecological inference
split-ticket voting
Abstract This method uses Gary King's (1997) solution to the ecological inference problem to examine split-ticket voting patterns in the 1988 elections. Earlier studies of split-ticket voting used either aggregate data, which suffer from the ecological fallacy, or survey data, which suffer from misreporting and small, unrepresentative sample sizes within states and districts. This paper produces accurate estimates of the proportions of voters splitting their ballots in each state and district for the first time. With these results we test several competing theories of split-ticket voting and divided government. We find, contrary to Fiorina's (1996) balancing argument, that voters are not intentionally splitting their tickets to produce moderate policies. In most cases split outcomes are the result of lopsided congressional campaigns that feature well-funded, high quality candidates versus unknown competitors.

Can October Surprise? A Natural Experiment Assessing Late Campaign Effects
Meredith, Marc
Malhotra, Neil

Uploaded 10-14-2008
Keywords Vote by mail
natural experiment
campaign effects
convenience voting
regression discontinuity
Abstract One consequence of the proliferation of vote-by-mail (VBM) in certain areas of the United States is the opportunity for voters to cast ballots weeks before Election Day. Understanding the ensuing effects of VBM on late campaign information loss has important implications for both the study of campaign dynamics and public policy debates on the expansion of convenience voting. Unfortunately, the self-selection of voters into VBM makes it difficult to casually identify the effect of VBM on election outcomes. We overcome this identification problem by exploiting a natural experiment, in which some precincts are assigned to be VBM-only based on an arbitrary threshold of the number of registered voters. We assess the effects of VBM on candidate performance in the 2008 California presidential primary via a regression discontinuity design. We show that VBM both increases the probability of selecting candidates who withdrew from the race in the interval after the distribution of ballots but before Election Day and affects the relative performance of candidates remaining in the race. Thus, we find evidence of late campaign information loss, pointing to the influence of campaign events and momentum in American politics, as well as the unintended consequences of convenience voting.

Imitative and Evolutionary Processes that Produce Coordination Among American Voters
Mebane, Walter R.

Uploaded 07-11-2003
Keywords imitation
evolutionary game
strategic coordination
Abstract I examine the extent to which evolutionary game models based on the idea of pure imitation may help to explain recent empirical findings that the American electorate is involved in a situation of large-scale strategic coordination. Pure imitation in this context is the idea that some voters who are dissatisfied with their current strategy look around and adopt the strategy of the first voter they encounter who has attributes similar to theirs. The current analysis is part of a plan to use evolutionary models to motivate simulations based on National Election Studies data. The model implies that all voters ultimately use strategic coordination, although competing strategies disppear at different rates, depending on the voter's partisanship.

Issue Voting and Ecological Inference
Thomsen, Soren R.

Uploaded 09-14-2000
Keywords issue voting
ecological inference
electoral geography
multinomial logit
Abstract 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.

No Evidence on Proximity vs. Directional Voting
Lewis, Jeffrey B.
King, Gary

Uploaded 06-05-1998
Keywords spatial models
decision models
Abstract The directional and proximity models offer dramatically different theories for how voters make decisions. We demonstrate here that the empirical tests in the large and growing literature on this subject amount to theoretical debates about which statistical assumption is right. The key statistical assumptions in this literature have not been empirically tested, and indeed turn out to be effectively untestable with existing methods and data. Unfortunately, these assumptions are also crucial since changing them leads to different conclusions about voter decision processes.

The Coalition-oriented Evolution of Vote Intentions across Regions and Levels of Political Awareness during the 1993 Canadian Election Campaign: Quotidian Markov Chain Models using Rolling Cross-section Data
Wand, Jonathan
Mebane, Walter R.

Uploaded 08-28-1997
Keywords Markov chains
rolling cross-section data
macro data
categorical data
survey data
Canadian politics
strategic voting
Abstract We use survey data collected in Ontario and Quebec during the 1993 Canadian federal election to assess the extent to which voters were sensitive to the distribution of positions in special institutions that would possibly be created to handle negotiations between Quebec and the rest of Canada following a referendum on Quebec sovereignty expected after the election. We draw on a theory of coalition-oriented voting developed by Austin-Smith and Banks (1988) to argue that voters' anticipations regarding those institutions contributed to the catastrophic losses suffered by the Progressive Conservative party. We use a method we have developed for estimating discrete, finite-state Markov chain models from ``macro'' data to analyze the dynamics of individual choice probabilities in daily rolling cross-sectional survey data from 1993 Canadian Election Study. We allow each transition matrix to be updated as a function of daily vote support for either the Bloc or Reform to test for reactive coalition-oriented voting. We find significant reactive voting among Quebecois non-sovereigntists. The timing of these reactions depended on the individual's level of political awareness. In contrast, we find no evidence of reactive voting among either Quebecois sovereigntists or Ontario voters.

Estimating the Probability of Events That have Never Occurred: When Does Your Vote Matter?
Gelman, Andrew
King, Gary
Boscardin, John

Uploaded 02-14-1997
Keywords conditional probability
decision analysis
electoral campaigning
political science
presidential elections
rare events
rational choice
subjective probability
voting power
Abstract Researchers sometimes argue that statisticians have little to contribute when few realizations of the process being estimated are observed. We show that this argument is incorrect even in the extreme situation of estimating the probabilities of events so rare that they have never occurred. We show how statistical forecasting models allow us to use empirical data to improve inferences about the probabilities of these events. Our application is estimating the probability that your vote will be decisive in a U.S. presidential election, a problem that has been studied by researchers in political science for more than two decades. The exact value of this probability is of only minor interest, but the number has important implications for understanding the optimal allocation of campaign resources, whether states and voter groups receive their fair share of attention from prospective presidents, and how formal ``rational choice'' models of voter behavior might be able to explain why people vote at all. We show how the probability of a decisive vote can be estimated empirically from state-level forecasts of the presidential election and illustrate with the example of 1992. Based on generalizations of standard political science forecasting models, we estimate the (prospective) probability of a single vote being decisive as about 1 in 10 million for close national elections such as 1992, varying by about a factor of 10 among states. Our results support the argument that subjective probabilities of many types are best obtained via empirically-based statistical prediction models rather than solely mathematical reasoning. We discuss the implications of our findings for the types of decision analyses that are used in public choice studies.

Tobler's Law, Urbanization, and Electoral Bias: Why Compact, Contiguous Districts are Bad for the Democrats
Chen, Jowei
Rodden, Jonathan

Uploaded 11-11-2009
Keywords elections
party competition
legislative districting
electoral geography
spatial autocorrelation
Abstract When one of the major parties in the United States wins a substantially larger share of the seats than its vote share would seem to warrant, the conventional explanation lies in manipulation of maps by the party that controls the redistricting process. Yet this paper uses a unique data set from Florida to demonstrate a common mechanism through which substantial partisan bias can emerge purely from residential patterns. When partisan preferences are spatially dependent and partisanship is highly correlated with population density, any districting scheme that generates relatively compact, contiguous districts will tend to produce bias against the urban party. In order to demonstrate this empirically, we apply automated districting algorithms driven solely by compactness and contiguity parameters, building winner-take-all districts out of the precinct-level results of the tied Florida presidential election of 2000. The simulation results demonstrate that with 50 percent of the votes statewide, the Republicans can expect to win around 59 percent of the seats without any "intentional" gerrymandering. This occurs because urban districts tend to be homogeneous and Democratic while suburban and rural districts tend to be moderately Republican. Thus in Florida and other states where Democrats are highly concentrated in cities, the seemingly apolitical practice of requiring compact, contiguous districts will produce systematic pro-Republican electoral bias.

Spatial Voting Theory and Counterfactual Inference: John C. Breckenridge and the Presidential Election of 1860
Jenkins, Jeffery A.
Morris, Irwin

Uploaded 07-02-2003
Keywords spatial voting theory
counterfactual inference
presidential election
Abstract One important catalyst for the onset of the Civil War was the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Lincoln, competing against three other candidates, won election with the smallest percentage of the popular vote in American history. Given the circumstances, a slightly different electoral slate might have engineered his defeat. We examine this possibility by focusing on the candidacy of John C. Breckinridge, the final entrant into the race. Historians disagree over the rationale behind Breckinridge's candidacy. Some argue that it was a desperate effort to defeat Lincoln; others suggest that it was designed to insure Lincoln's victory. Using election counterfactuals and applying spatial voting theory, we examine these arguments. Our evidence suggests that Breckinridge had no reasonable chance to win. Support for Breckinridge's candidacy was only reasonable if the intention were to elect Lincoln.

Strategic voting in mixed-member electoral systems: The Italian case
Benoit, Kenneth
Laver, Michael
Giannetti, Daniela

Uploaded 08-26-2000
Keywords elections
strategic voting
ecological inference
Abstract The new Italian electoral system has two elements, a plurality element in single member districts and a PR element in larger multimember constituencies. The plurality element provides strong incentives for groups of parties to form pre-electoral coalitions. The PR element offers incentives for parties to contest the elections individually. We can think of two types of voter. The first type, whom we characterize as "strategic," votes for his or her first choice party in the PR election since there is no strategy that can improve on this. In the plurality election, a strategic voter supports the candidate sponsored by the coalition with which his or her first choice party is affiliated, even if this is not from the first choice party. The second type of voter, whom we characterize as "non-strategic," also votes for his or her first choice party in the PR election. In the plurality election, the non-strategic voter will vote for a first choice party if a candidate of this party is on the ballot but, if not, votes unpredictably. In this paper, we model the "strategic" and "non- strategic" elements of the vote flowing to candidates in the plurality element of the election. Using data from the 1996 and 1994 elections on both PR and plurality voting patterns in each single member district, and confining ourselves to districts where there is a run-off between two coalitions, we are able to estimate the relative numbers of strategic and non- strategic voters in each district, and characterize this in terms of a range of strategic variables.

Rational Expectations Coordinating Voting in American Presidential and House Elections
Mebane, Walter R.

Uploaded 07-08-1998
Keywords coordinating voting
probabilistic voting
spatial voting
retrospective voting
policy moderation
presidential elections
congressional elections
ticket splitting
rational expectations
voter equilibrium
Bayesian-Nash equilibrium
generalized extreme value model
Monte Carlo integration
maximum likelihood
Abstract I define a probabilistic model of individuals' presidential-year vote choices for President and for the House of Representatives in which there is a coordinating (Bayesian Nash) equilibrium among voters based on rational expectations each voter has about the election outcomes. I estimate the model using data from the six American National Election Study Pre-/Post-Election Surveys of years 1976--1996. The coordinating model passes a variety of tests, including a test against a majoritarian model in which there is rational ticket splitting but no coordination. The results give strong individual-level support to Alesina and Rosenthal's theory that voters balance institutions in order to moderate policy. The estimates describe vote choices that strongly emphasize the presidential candidates. I also find that a voter who says economic conditions have improved puts more weight on a discrepancy between the voter's ideal point and government policy with a Democratic President than on a discrepancy of the same size with a Republican President.

Non-Compulsory Voting in Australia?: what surveys can (and can't) tell us
Jackman, Simon

Uploaded 08-25-1997
Keywords turnout
Australian politics
compulsory voting
political participation
measurement error
social-desirability heuristic
question-order effects
parametric bootstrap
Abstract Compulsory voting has come under close scrutiny in recent Australian political debate, and influential voices within the (conservative) Coalition government have called for its repeal. Conventional wisdom holds that a repeal of compulsory voting would result in a sizeable electoral boost for the Coalition; the proportion of Coalition voters who would not vote is thought to be smaller than the corresponding proportion of Labor voters. But estimates of Coalition gains under a return to voluntary turnout are quite rough-and-ready, relying on methods hampered by critical shortcomings. In this paper I focus on assessing the counter-factual of non-compulsory turnout via surveys: while turnout is compulsory in Australia, responding to surveys isn't, and the problems raised by high rates of non-response are especially pernicious in attempting to assess the counter-factual of voluntary turnout. Among survey respondents, social-desirability and question-order effects also encourage over-reports of the likelihood of voluntarily turning out. Taking non-response and measurement error into consideration, I conclude that survey-based estimates (a) significantly emph{under-estimate} the extent to which turnout would emph{decline} under a voluntary turnout regime; but (b) emph{over-estimate} the extent to which a fall in turnout would work to the advantage of the Coalition parties. Nonetheless, the larger of the Coalition parties --- the Liberal Party --- unambiguously increases its vote share under a wide range of assumptions about who does and doesn't voluntarily turnout.

Voting cycles and institutional paradoxes: a model of partisan control and change in state politics
Brierly, Allen

Uploaded 11-05-2004
Keywords EITM
election and voting cycles
measurement of political party competition
state elections
Abstract This study applies a formal model of political competition to analyze partisan control and changes in partisan control of state government. The analysis is a straightforward application of both traditional theories of political parties and a social choice understanding of the role agenda setting plays in electoral competition. The models incorporate the traditional classification and estimation of party competition, while extending the more formal analysis of agenda setting to duopoly competition in a long-run electoral context. The findings synethesize a variety of recent and traditional hypotheses concerning state politics, governance, and elections. The results describe the extent and scope of divided government and compare the stability of unified versus divided partisan control. Theories of party change are also incorporated in the model to test the stability of partisan control and to classify different types of political competition. This study presents both a description and a discussion of the arguments for competition, linking the merits of increasing competition to the consequences of unstable party changes and divided partisan control.

Language Access and Initiative Outcomes: Did the Voting Rights Act Influence Support for Bilingual Education?

Uploaded 12-17-2009
Keywords regression discontinuity design
multilevel modeling
immigrant political incorporation
language access
Voting Rights Act
Abstract This paper investigates one tool designed to enfranchise immigrants: foreign-language election materials. Specifically, it estimates the impact of Spanish-language assistance provided under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. Focusing on a California initiative on bilingual education, it tests how Spanish-language materials influenced turnout and election outcomes in Latino neighborhoods. It also considers the possibility of an anti-Spanish backlash in non-Hispanic white neighborhoods. Empirically, the analysis couples a regression discontinuity design with multilevel modeling to isolate the impact of Section 203. The analysis finds that Spanish-language assistance increased turnout and reduced support for ending bilingual education in Latino neighborhoods with many Spanish speakers. It finds hints of backlash among non-Hispanic white precincts, but not with the same certainty. The turnout finding gains additional support from multilevel regression discontinuity analyses of 2004 Latino voter turnout nationwide. For Latino citizens who speak little English, the availability of Spanish ballots increases turnout and influences election outcomes as well.

The Statistical Analysis of Roll Call Data
Clinton, Joshua
Jackman, Simon
Rivers, Doug

Uploaded 05-07-2003
Keywords spatial voting model
item response theory
roll call voting
Bayeisan simulation
Abstract We develop a Bayesian procedure for estimation and inference for spatial models of roll call voting. Our appraoch is extremely flexible, applicable to any legislative setting, irrespective of size, the extremism of legislative voting histories, or the number of roll calls available for analysis. Our model is easily extended to let other sources of information inform the analysis of roll call data, such as the number and nature of the underlying dimensions, the presence of party whipping, the determinants of legislator preferences, or the evolution of the legislative agenda; this is especially helpful since it is gernally inappropriate to use estimates of extant methods (usually generated under assumptions of sincere voting) to test models embodying alternative assumptions (e.g., log-rolling). A Bayesian approach also provides a coherent framework for estimation and inference with roll call data that eludes extant methods; moreover, via Bayesian simulation methods, it is straightforward to generate uncertainty assessments or hypothesis tests concerning any auxiliary quantity of interest or to formally compare models. In a series of examples we show how our method is easily extended to accommodate theoretically interesting modesl of legislative behavior. Our goal is to move roll call analysis away from pure measurement or description towards a tool for testing substantive theories of legislative behavior.

Ticket-splitting and Strategic Voting
Gschwend, Thomas

Uploaded 08-22-2000
Keywords Ticket Splitting
Strategic voting
Germany EI
Multiple imputation
Abstract Germany provides an especially interesting case for the study of strategic voting because a two-ballot system is used. Voters are encouraged to split their votes using different strategies. I disentangle different types of strategic voting that have been mixed in the literature so far: On the first vote there is emph{tactical} voting, and on the second vote there is emph{loan} voting. Therefore, I focus particularly on ticket splitting patterns. The data set I use contains official election results of first and second votes for all German districts from the federal election of 1998. To obtain estimates that determines quantity of straight and split ticket voting between political parties I employ King's EI for a first-stage analysis and use these estimates as independent variables in second-stage models. In order to account for the uncertainty in first-stage EI-point estimates I use a multiple imputation approach. I show that tactical and loan voters secured the representation of FDP and the Greens in the German Parliament. Several validation attempts of the second-stage prediction results prove that not every second-stage analysis based on first stage EI-point estimates is doomed to fail.

Aggregate Voting Data and Implied Spatial Voting
Herron, Michael C.

Uploaded 07-15-1998
Keywords spatial voting
aggregate data
ecological inference
Abstract The paper draws attention to the micro--foundations of aggregate voting data by introducing the concept of an implied spatial voting model. The adjective ``implied'' refers to the fact that this paper's spatial theory primitives, which describe how individual--level preferences are distributed across and within voting districts, are implied by or derived from aggregate voting data. The key idea proposed here is that, given an observed distribution of aggregate voting data, it is possible to derive features of an individual--level, spatial voting model capable of generating the observed data. Thus, an implied spatial voting model is an inverse image of an observed, aggregate vote share distribution. We provide numerical examples of how spatial voting models can be implied by aggregate voting data and we then analyze aggregate data and National Election Study survey data from the 1980, 1984, and 1988 presidential elections. And, to demonstrate that implied spatial voting models can be calculated from aggregate data alone, we consider presidential elections 1928--1960 and the Chicago mayoral elections of 1983 and 1987. This paper's focus on the micro--foundations of aggregate data highlights the limitations inherent in aggregate data analyses. In particular, the paper discusses identification problems, in part a consequence of the lack of scale and location invariance in preference orderings and in part a consequence of the lack of individual--level information in aggregate data, that affect movement between individual--level theories like spatial voting theory and aggregate voting data.

Measuring Party Cohesion on Roll Call Votes with an Application to the Labor Committee of the Chilean Senate
Londregan, John B.

Uploaded 08-22-1997
Keywords Maximum Likelihood
Roll Call Voting
Abstract I introduce measures of two forms of party cohesion, affinity, in which members of the same party share a similar ideological outlook, and would vote alike in any event, and discipline, in which legislators of the same party compromise their basic ideological positions on party votes. These measures are based on maximum likelihood estimates of a spatial model of voting. Applied to the Labor Committee of the Chilean Senate the analysis identifies substantial affinity among elected Senators from the ruing Concertacion coalition, while the Institutional Senators exhibit marked differences in their ideological affinities. Neither of the discipline measures exceeds the threshold of tatistical significance.

Unions and Class Bias in the U.S. Electorate, 1964-2000
Leighley, Jan
Nagler, Jonathan

Uploaded 05-20-2005
Keywords turnout
elections. unions
Abstract This paper examines the impact of unions on turnout and assesses the consequences of the dramatic decline in union strength since 1964 for the composition of the U.S. electorate. Our analysis relies on individual-level data from 1964 through 2000. We first estimate individual-level models to test for the distinct effects of union membership and union strength on individuals' probabilities of voting and then test whether the effect of individual union membership and overall union strength varies across income levels. We find that unions increase turnout by increasing turnout of union members as well as turnout of non-members. And we find that the effects of union mobilization are approximately equal for the bottom two thirds of the income distribution, but are significantly less for the top third of the income distribution. By simulating what turnout would be were union membership at its 1964 level, we show that the decline in union membership since 1964 has led to a substantial increase in class-bias in the electorate.

Election Fraud or Strategic Voting? Can Second-digit Tests Tell the Difference?
Mebane, Walter

Uploaded 07-06-2010
Keywords election fraud
strategic voting
Benford's Law
American elections
state House
state Senate
Abstract I simulate a mixture process that generates individual preferences that, when aggregated into precincts, have counts whose second significant digits approximately satisfy Benford's Law. By deriving sincere, strategic, gerrymandered and coerced votes from these preferences under a plurality voting rule, I find that tests based on the second digits of the precinct counts are sensitive to differences in how the counts are derived. The tests can sometimes distinguish coercion from strategic voting and gerrymanders. The tests may be able to distinguish strategic voting according to a party balancing logic from strategic voting due purely to wasted-vote logic, and strategic from nonstrategic voting. These simulation findings are supported by data from federal and state elections in the United States during the 1980s and 2000s.

Standard Voting Power Indexes Don't Work: An Empirical Analysis
Gelman, Andrew
Katz, Jonathan
Bafumi, Joseph

Uploaded 11-02-2002
Keywords Banzhaf index
decisive vote
electoral college
Shapley value
voting power
Abstract Voting power indexes such as that of Banzhaf (1965) are derived, explicitly or implicitly, from the assumption that all votes are equally likely (i.e., random voting). That assumption can be generalized to hold that the probability of a vote being decisive in a jurisdiction with $n$ voters is proportional to $1/sqrt{n}$. We test---and reject---this hypothesis empirically, using data from several different U.S. and European elections. We find that the probability of a decisive vote is approximately proportional to $1/n$. The random voting model (or its generalization, the square-root rule) overestimates the probability of close elections in larger jurisdictions. As a result, classical voting power indexes make voters in large jurisdictions appear more powerful than they really are. The most important political implication of our result is that proportionally weighted voting systems (that is, each jurisdiction gets a number of votes proportional to $n$) are basically fair. This contradicts the claim in the voting power literature that weights should be approximately proportional to $sqrt{n}$.

Application of Panel Data Analysis to Kramer's Economic Voting Problem
Yoon, David

Uploaded 07-16-2000
Keywords economic voting
panel data
Abstract Although the health of a nation's economy has come to be seen as a reliable predictor of election outcome at the national level (e.g., Fair 1978, 1988), the corollary link between economic conditions and electoral behavior at the individual level remains less clear. Kinder and Kiewiet (1979) concluded that while the ups and downs of personal finances had negligible effect on an individual's voting behavior in national elections, the trajectory of the national economy had a significant effect. The hypothesis of the ``sociotropic'' voter was to be preferred over the ``pocketbook'' voter in thinking about whose economy mattered in elections. In an influential critique, Kramer (1983) argued that such a conclusion could not be drawn from purely cross-sectional survey data (data type used by Kinder and Kiewiet). According to Kramer, only the analysis of aggregate-level time-series data provide unbiased estimates of the effects of economic conditions on votes. Unfortunately, the two main competing hypotheses cannot be tested since individual-level economic factors cannot be studied with aggregate-level time series data alone. In contrast to previous analyses, I employ panel data (also known as longitudinal data) and analytical methods sensitive to the individual-level time-series structure of the data to estimate the relative magnitudes of the sociotropic and pocketbook effects, and test the merits of the respective hypotheses. Others have attempted to solve the Kramer problem by pooling cross-sectional data (e.g., Markus (1988, 1992)). Although pooled cross-sectional data allow investigators to compare sociotropic and pocketbook effects, they suffer from many of the same shortcomings of purely cross-sectional data. I use the 1993-1996 NES panel study to demonstrate the robustness of the sociotropic model and the strengths of panel analysis. I explain the battery of tests, estimators, and statistical assumptions used and relate these in detail to prevalent substantive political assumptions. And finally an uncommonly long panel from an Italian Nielsen survey is analyzed to demonstrate the utility of such

Estimating voter preference distributions from individual-level voting data (with application to split-ticket voting
Lewis, Jeffrey B.

Uploaded 09-15-1998
Keywords split ticket voting
ideal point estimation
spatial voting models
EM algorithm
Abstract In the last decade a great deal of progress has been made in estimating spatial models of legislative roll-call voting. There are now several well-known and effective methods of estimating the ideal points of legislators from their roll-call votes. Similar progress has not been made in the empirical modeling of the distribution of preferences in the electorate. Progress has been slower, not because the question is less important, but because of limitations of data and a lack of tractable methods. In this paper, I present a method for inferring the distribution of voter ideal points on a single dimension from individual-level voting returns on ballot propositions. The statistical model and estimation technique draw heavily on the psychometric literature on test taking and, in particular, on the work of Bock and Aitkin (1981}. The method yields semi-parametric estimates of the distribution of voters along an unobserved spatial dimension. The model is applied to data from the 1992 general election in Los Angeles County. I present the distribution of voter ideal points of each of 17 Congressional districts. Finally, I consider the issue of split-ticket voting estimating for two Congressional districts the distribution of voters that split their tickets and of those that did not.

Economics, Entitlements and Social Issues: Voter Choice in the 1996 Presidential Election
Alvarez, R. Michael
Nagler, Jonathan

Uploaded 08-21-1997
Keywords elections
economic voting
multinomial probit
Abstract 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.

Efficiency, Equity, and Timing in Voting Mechanisms
Battaglini, Marco
Palfrey, Thomas
Morton, Rebecca

Uploaded 06-19-2005
Keywords sequential voting
simultaneous voting
costly voting
Abstract In many voting situations some participants know the choices of earlier voters. We show that in such cases and voting is costly, later voters?' decisions are dependent on both the choices of previous voters and the cost of voting and are significantly different from the choices when voting is simultaneous. Using experiments we find support for our predictions. We also ?find that increasing the cost of voting decreases both informational and economic efficiency and subsidizing voting can increase efficiency. We find a tradeoff between efficiency and equity in sequential voting: Although sequential voting is generally more advantageous for all voters than simultaneous voting, there are significant additional advantages to later voters in sequential voting even when early voters are theoretically predicted to benefit.

No News is News: Non-Ignorable Non-Response in Roll-Call Data Analysis
Rosas, Guillermo
Shomer, Yael
Haptonstahl, Stephen

Uploaded 07-10-2010
Keywords rollcall
Abstract Roll-call votes are widely employed to infer the ideological proclivities of legislators, even though inferences based on roll-call data are accurate reflections of underlying policy preferences only under stringent assumptions. We explore the consequences of violating one such assumption, namely, the ignorability of the process that generates non-response in roll calls. We offer a reminder of the inferential consequences of ignoring certain processes of non-response, a basic estimation framework to model non-response and vote choice concurrently, and models for two theoretically relevant processes of non-ignorable missingness. We reconsider the "most liberal Senator" question that comes up during election times every four years in light of our arguments and show how we inferences about ideal points can improve by incorporating a priori information about the process that generates abstentions.

Designing Tests of the Supreme Court and the Separation of Powers
Sala, Brian R.
Spriggs II, James F.

Uploaded 09-13-2002
Keywords spatial voting theory
strategic behavior
Supreme Court
Abstract While "rational choice" models of Supreme Court decision making have enhanced our appreciation for the separation of powers built into the Madisonian Constitutional design, convincing empirical support for a separation-of-powers (SOP) constraint on justices' behavior has been elusive. We apply a standard spatial voting model to identify circumstances in which "Attitudinalist" and SOP predictions about justices' behavior diverge. Our reconsideration of the theory indicates that prior efforts to test quantitatively the two models have been biased by having included cases for which the two models' predictions do not differ. While our more focused test offers a fairer test of the SOP constraint, the results strongly reject the SOP model. Nonetheless, our analysis provides leverage on this issue by: (1) delineating and executing necessary research design protocols for crafting a critical test of the SOP model; and (2) rejecting the two exogenously fixed alternative SOP model and suggesting avenues for future research.

Is Ticket Splitting Strategic? Evidence from the 1998 Election in Germany
Gschwend, Thomas

Uploaded 04-20-2000
Keywords ticket splitting
strategic voting
Abstract Germany provides an especially interesting case for the study of strategic voting because they use a two-ballot system on Election Day. Voters are encouraged to split their votes using different strategies. The paper is an example of how much more can be learned if we reconsider and refine our theories. I provide a first step towards a theory of strategic voting and add it to the typical ticket splitting discussion. In order to test more refined hypotheses about ticket splitting and strategic voting I use cross-sectional data from the German National Post Election Study of 1998. Empirically, the results indicate that strategic voters are different from ordinary ticket splitters. Evidence from separate MNP estimation for East and West Germany shows that identifier of the FDP or the Greens are more likely strategic voters as opposed to non-strategic ticket splitters. Non-strategic ticket splitters in East Germany do not feel close to any political party. In West Germany non-strategic ticket splitters have conflicting party preferences. Thus, it proves useful to separate out strategic voters from ordinary ticket splitters in future work.

Measuring the Electoral and Policy Impact of Majority-Minority Voting Districts: Candidates of Choice, Equal Opportunity, and Representation
Epstein, David
O'Halloran, Sharyn

Uploaded 09-15-1998
Keywords voting rights act
ecological regression
Abstract The Voting Rights Act guarantees minority voters an "equal opportunity to elect the candidate of their choice." Yet the implementation of this requirement is beset with technical difficulties: first, current case law provides no clear definition as to who qualifies as a candidate of choice of the minority community; second, traditional techniques for estimating equal opportunity rely heavily on ecological regression, which is prone to statistical bias; and third, no attempt is made to systematically evaluate the impact of alternative districting strategies on the substantive representation of minority interests, rather than just descriptive representation. This paper offers an alternative approach to majority-minority districting that 1) explicitly defines the term "candidate of choice;" 2) determines the point of equal opportunity without relying on ecological regression; and 3) estimates the expected impact of competing districting schemes on substantive representation. It then applies this technique to a set of alternative districting plans for the South Carolina State Senate.

Economic Conditions and Presidential Elections
Nagler, Jonathan
Willette, Jennifer R.

Uploaded 08-21-1997
Keywords Elections
economic voting
Abstract One of the more robust findings over the last 50 years in research on elections has been the importance of macroeconomic conditions on voting in U.S. presidential elections. An important contribution to that literature was made by Steven Weatherford in a 1978 article demonstrating that working class voters are more sensitive to economic conditions than are middle class voters in their vote choice. Weatherford's result was based on the 1956 through 1960 elections. We replicate Weatherford's result for 1960, and show that the substantive finding is extremely sensitive to the definition of class. When using occupation groups as the measure of class, we are able to essentially replicate Weatherford's result. However, using income as the measure of class we do not find any evidence to support the same finding for 1960. We then extend the analysis to cover the period 1956 thru 1996 using both an income-based measure of class and an occupation-based measure of class. We show that there does not appear to be a clear pattern distinguishing levels of economic voting between working-class and middle-class voters; though using the occupation-based measure working class voters appear more sensitive to the economy in recent elections. Finally, we offer a new theory of economic voting. We propose that voters vote based on the economic performance of their economic reference group - rather than on their own personal finances or on the state of the national economy.

A simple scheme to improve the efficiency of referenda
Casella, Alessandra
Gelman, Andrew

Uploaded 08-16-2005
Keywords storable votes
bonus votes
weighted voting
Abstract This paper proposes a simple scheme designed to elicit and reward intensity of preferences in referenda: voters faced with a number of binary proposals are given one regular vote for each proposal plus an additional number of bonus votes to cast as desired. Decisions are taken according to the majority of votes cast. In our base case, where there is no systematic di¤erence between proposals’supporters and opponents, there is always a positive number of bonus votes such that ex ante utility is increased by the scheme, relative to simple majority voting. When the distributions of valuations of supporters and opponents differ, the improvement in efficiency is guaranteed only if the distributions can be ranked according to first order stochastic dominance. If they are, however, the existence of welfare gains is independent of the exact number of bonus votes.

Inferring Strategic Voting
Kawai, Kei
Watanabe, Yasutora

Uploaded 07-16-2010
Keywords Strategic Voting
Set Estimation
Partial Identification
Abstract We estimate a model of strategic voting and quantify the impact it has on election outcomes. Because the model exhibits multiplicity of outcomes, we adopt a set estimator. Using Japanese general-election data, we find a large fraction [75.3%, 80.3%] of strategic voters, only a small fraction [2.4%, 5.5%] of whom voted for a candidate other than the one they most preferred (misaligned voting). Existing empirical literature has not distinguished between the two, estimating misaligned voting instead of strategic voting. Accordingly, while our estimate of strategic voting is high, our estimate of misaligned voting is comparable to previous studies.

The Ordinary Election of Adolf Hitler: A Modern Voting Behavior Approach
King, Gary
Rosen, Ori
Wagner, Alexander F.

Uploaded 08-23-2002
Keywords Voting Behavior
Ecological Inference
Abstract How did free and fair democratic elections lead to the extrordinarily anti-democratic Nazi Party winning control of the Weimar Republic? The profound implications of this question have led scholars to make the Weimar elections the most studied elections in history and ``who voted for Hitler'' the single most asked question in elections research. Yet, despite this overwhelming attention, mostly from historians, the Nazi voting literature has treated these elections as largely unique events and thus comparison with other democratic elections as mostly irrelevant. The literature has also ignored most voting behavior theory and research in political science, and it has only rarely used modern statistical methods. In this paper, we adapt existing political science theories and new methods and find that many of the explanations offered in the Nazi voting literature, while probably correct, do not distinguish this election from almost any other, occuring in any country. For example, the prevailing explanation in the literature, that the Nazis were a ``catch all party'' because most social groups shifted in their favor by roughly the same amount, is a characteristic of the vast majority of election swings in every democracy, and so does not provide a useful explanation. We also show that a standard ``retrospective voting'' account of Nazi voting fits the distinctive aspects of this election well, once we recognize that the voters who were most hurt by the economic depression and hence most likely to oppose the government fall into two separate groups that have divergent interests. Those who were unemployed or at high risk of becomming unemployed shifted to the Communists, whose platform was designed to appeal mainly to this group, whereas the working poor, those at low risk of unemployment but still poor because of the economy (such as self-employed shop keepers and professionals, domestic workers, and helping family members), shifted disproportionately towards the Nazis, and accounted for most of the unusual dynamics of this election. The consequences of the election of Hitler were extraordinary, but the voting behavior that led to it was not.

Analysis of Crossover Voting
Alvarez, R. Michael

Uploaded 02-26-1999
Keywords crossover voting
strategic voting
ecological inference
exit poll analysis
Abstract We undertake the analysis of primary elections from 1980 through 1996 using both academic individual level survey data, media exit-polls, and aggregate election returns on a county by county basis. We come to the following conclusions: 1. there is very little crossover voting in general in United States primaries; 2. the difference in the amount of crossover voting between states with open primaries and closed primaries is not substantively large; 3. thee amount of strategic behavior on the part of voters is extremely small.

Economic Performance, Job Insecurity, and Electoral Choice
Lacy, Dean
Mughan, Anthony

Uploaded 09-17-1998
Keywords economic voting
economic insecurity
multinomial probit
1996 election
Abstract The mass political economy literature concentrates on egocentric and sociotropic evaluations of short-term economic performance. Scant attention is paid to other economic concerns people may have. In a neo-liberal economic climate characterized by a downsized labor market and the retrenchment of government welfare entitlements, one such widely-publicized concern is job insecurity. We show that job insecurity is a novel form of discontent that is independent of the retrospective evaluations of short-term performance that are the stuff of the mainstream mass political economy literature. At the same time, the political effects of job insecurity are distinctive. In a multinomial probit model of electoral choice in the 1996 U.S. presidential election, job insecurity is associated with support for the third-party candidate, Ross Perot, but, contrary to conventional wisdom, has no implications for turnout. Traditional retrospective evaluations of economic performance explain the major-party vote and abstention.

The Spatial Theory of Voting and the Presidential Election of 1824
Jenkins, Jeffery A.
Sala, Brian R.

Uploaded 08-15-1997
Keywords spatial voting theory
ideological voting
presidential selection
Nominate scores
Abstract One recent analysis claims that in at least five p residential contests since the end of World War II a relatively minor vote shift in a small number of states would have produced Electoral College deadlock, leading to a House election for president (Longley and Peirce 1996). A presidential contest in the House would raise fundamental questions from agency theory - do members "shirk" the collective preferences of their constituent-principals on highly salient votes and, if so, what explains the choices they do make? Can vote choices be rationalized in a theory of ideological voting, or are legislators highly susceptible to interest-group pressures and enticements? We apply a spatial-theoretic model of voting to the House balloting for president in 1825 in order to test competing hypotheses about how MCs would likely vote in a presidential ballot. We find that a sincere voting model based on ideal points for MCs and candidates derived from Nominate scores closely matches the choices made by MCs in 1825.

Parametric and Nonparametric Bayesian Models for Ecological Inference in 2 x 2 Tables
Imai, Kosuke
Lu, Ying

Uploaded 07-21-2004
Keywords Aggregate data
Data augmentation
Density estimation
Dirichlet process prior
Normal mixtures
Racial voting
Abstract The ecological inference problem arises when making inferences about individual behavior from aggregate data. Such a situation is frequently encountered in the social sciences and epidemiology. In this article, we propose a Bayesian approach based on data augmentation. We formulate ecological inference in $2 times 2$ tables as a missing data problem where only the weighted average of two unknown variables is observed. This framework directly incorporates the deterministic bounds, which contain all information available from the data, and allow researchers to incorporate the individual-level data whenever available. Within this general framework, we first develop a parametric model. We show that through the use of an $EM$ algorithm, the model can formally quantify the effect of missing information on parameter estimation. This is an important diagnostic for evaluating the degree of aggregation effects. Next, we introduce a nonparametric Bayesian model using a Dirichlet process prior to relax the distributional assumption of the parametric model. Through simulations and an empirical application, we evaluate the relative performance of our models and other existing methods. We show that in many realistic scenarios, aggregation effects are so severe that more than half of the information is lost, yielding estimates with little precision. We also find that our nonparametric model generally outperforms parametric models. C-code, along with an R interface, is publicly available for implementing our Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms to fit the proposed models.

An Integrated Perspective on Party Platforms and Electoral Choice
Elff, Martin

Uploaded 08-19-2002
Keywords electoral behavior
party platforms
party manifestos
social cleavages
class voting
religious voting
comparative politics
principal curves
generalized additive models
dimensional analysis
discrete choice
Abstract There are several perspectives on voting behavior that usually constitute separate strands of research: the impact of social background on vote choice, the relation between policy positions of parties and policy preferences of voters, and the effect of party platforms on the electoral success of parties. Although they all apply to the same entities, that is, to voters and parties, these different perspectives seem to have divergent implications. Thus we are in need of a way to reconcile these perspectives. The empirical results presented in this paper suggest a way what such a reconciliation should look like. They could be summarized as follows: In party platforms, several ideological dimensions can be distinguished that are connected with different cleavages in the Lispet-Rokkan sense. Second, it is shown that individuals from different social groups differ in the way they evaluate party platforms and choose among parties. Third, the way these individuals evaluate party platforms conforms to spatial notions of voting. Fourth, a general pattern of platform evaluation established on the base of pooled data of several countries accounts to a large degree for differences between levels of religious voting in these countries.

The Timing of Voting Decisions in Presidential Campaigns
Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M.
Kimball, David

Uploaded 04-12-1999
Keywords heteroskedastic probit
time of vote decision
presidential elections
1988 election
Abstract Voting analysts often make a distinction between "long-term" and "short-term" forces that influence the voting decision in presidential elections (Campbell et al. 1960). Long-term forces reflect information and considerations that are available to voter before the presidential campaign starts, such as party identification, demographic attributes, and the record each candidate has established previously in government. In contrast, short-term forces refer more specifically to the campaign. We posit that there is variation in the way voters integrate the long- and short-term forces into a voting decision. Furthermore, the long-term forces are smaller in number and thus easier for researchers to identify and measure. For example, much attention has been devoted to conceptualization and measurement of party identification. However, short-term forces are nearly infinite in number and are much harder to measure and link up to the voting decision. This means that voting models should perform well when predicting the choices of voters who are guided primarily by long-term forces. In contrast, voting models should not perform as well for citizens who are strongly influenced by short-term forces. In statistical terms, there will be heteroskedastic error variance in common vote models due to the differing influence of short- and long-term forces. We examine the variation among voters by using the standard NES question that asks citizens how long before the election they made their voting decisions and test our expectations using the heteroskedastic probit technique (Brehm and Alvarez 1995), which is like a standard probit model except that there is a separate equation to model the error variance (the errors in prediction). By using the timing of the vote decision to help model the error variance, we produce unbiased estimates and improve our ability to explain voting behavior and the impact of campaigns.

Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Black Representation in Congress
Epstein, David
O'Halloran, Sharyn
Cameron, Charles

Uploaded 01-01-1995
Keywords districting
voting rights act
minority representation
electoral systems
semi-parametric estimation
Abstract This paper investigates the question of whether or not concentrated minority districts, which increase the probability that minorities are elected to office but decrease minority influence elsewhere, maximize overall black representation in Congress. We address this question in a three-step process: we first estimate representation equations that link constituency preferences to the actions of their representative; then electoral equations that link constituency characteristics to the type of representative elected; and finally combine these two effects to simulate the districting strategies that maximize substantive minority representation. We find that outside of the South, dividing minority voters equally across districts maximizes representation, while in the South the optimal scheme creates concentrated districts on the order of 47% black voting age population. We also conclude that minority candidates have substantial chances of being elected from districts with less than 50% minority voters, and that in the face of a national Republican tide, optimal districting schemes will concentrate minority voters less, rather than more.

Minority Representation in Multi-member Districts
Gerber, Elisabeth R.
Morton, Becky
Rietz, Thomas

Uploaded 08-13-1997
Keywords cumulative voting
multi-member districts
minority representation
laboratory elections
Abstract We present a theoretical and experimental examination of cumulative voting versus straight (non-cumulative) voting in multi-member district elections. Cumulative voting has been proposed as a method for increasing minority representation. Given the recent court rulings against racial gerrymandering to achieve minority representation in single-member districts, the effect of multi- member district elections on minority representation is an important issue. We present a model of voting in double-member district elections with two majority candidates and one minority candidate and consider the voting equilibria under the two voting systems. In straight voting, we find that while an equilibrium always exists where the two majority candidates are expected to win the two seats, equilibria also exist where minority candidates may be elected. In cumulative voting, we find that equilibrium minority candidate wins are also possible but are less likely when minority voters prefer one majority candidate over another. We then describe experimental evidence on voting behavior and outcomes in straight and cumulative voting elections. We find that minority candidates win significantly more seats in cumulative than in straight voting elections, as predicted, but win fewer elections when minority voters prefer one majority candidate over another.

Rich state, poor state, red state, blue state:What's the matter with Connecticut?
Gelman, Andrew
Shor, Boris
Bafumi, Joseph
Park, David

Uploaded 11-29-2005
Keywords availability heuristic
ecological fallacy
hierarchical model
income and voting
multilevel model
presidential elections
public opinion
secret weapon
varying-slope model
Abstract We find that income matters more in ``red America'' than in ``blue America.'' In poor states, rich people are much more likely than poor people to vote for the Republican presidential candidate, but in rich states (such as Connecticut), income has a very low correlation with vote preference. In addition to finding this pattern and studying its changes over time, we use the concepts of typicality and availability from cognitive psychology to explain how these patterns can be commonly misunderstood. Our results can be viewed either as a debunking of the journalistic image of rich ``latte'' Democrats and poor ``Nascar'' Republicans, or as support for the journalistic images of political and cultural differences between red and blue states---differences which are not explained by differences in individuals' incomes. For decades, the Democrats have been viewed as the party of the poor, with the Republicans representing the rich. Recent presidential elections, however, have shown a reverse pattern, with Democrats performing well in the richer ``blue'' states in the northeast and west coast, and Republicans dominating in the ``red'' states in the middle of the country. Through multilevel modeling of individual-level survey data and county- and state-level demographic and electoral data, we reconcile these patterns. Key methods used in this research are: (1) plots of repeated cross-sectional analyses, (2) varying-intercept, varying-slope multilevel models, and (3) a graph that simultaneously shows within-group and between-group patterns in a multilevel model. These statistical tools help us understand patterns of variation within and between states in a way that would not be possible from classical regressions or by looking at tables of coefficient estimates.

Have Turnout Effects Really Declined? Testing the Partisan Implications of Marginal Voters
Gill, Jeff
Martinez, Michael

Uploaded 08-09-2002
Keywords voting
partisan effects
multinomial logit
Abstract In this paper, we review the theoretical foundations of the debate about whether higher election turnout advantages left parties, suggest a method of assessing the effects of turnout within a single election, and provide evidence from four U.S. elections that the partisan effects of turnout are contingent on the strength and polarity of the short-term forces. Our methodological approach to addressing whether the Democrats would have benefited from higher turnout (and whether the Republicans would have benefited from lower turnout) in a given election is to employ a new type of simulation based on multinomial logit estimates of the choices made by individual citizens. Our substantive approach is similar to Lacy and Burden (1999), in that we posit that U.S. citizens have three unordered choices in each election: vote Democratic, vote Republican, or abstain. We first estimate vote choice (including the abstention category) as an unordered multinomial logit function of standard variables associated with both candidate preference and the likelihood of voting. From that estimation, we derive probabilities for each respondent's selection of each of the three choices (abstain, vote Democratic, or vote Republican). From those probabilities, we simulate several levels of turnout. Higher turnout is simulated by progressively adding to the pool of voters actual abstainers with the lowest probability of abstaining of those remaining in the pool of abstainers. Whereas lower turnout is simulated by progressively subtracting from the electorate actual voters with the highest probability of abstaining. Our results across the four elections provide partial support for both the conventional SES-based model and the alternative defection-based model, though neither model's predictions are completely borne out empirically. As predicted by the conventional model, we find that the electorate has a greater Democratic tilt at higher levels of turnout, although that relationship has significantly weakened over time.

Economic Voting: Enlightened Self-Interest and Economic Reference
Nagler, Jonathan
De Boef, Suzanna

Uploaded 04-18-1999
Keywords elections
economic voting
sociotropic voting
Abstract This research tests a new theoretical perspective on economic voting. There is a longstanding debate on whether voters are: `sociotropic' voters', i.e., basing their vote on the state of the national economy; or `pocketbook' voters, i.e., basing their vote on the state of their own finances (Kiewiet 1983, Kinder and Kiewiet 1979). We believe that this debate can be reduced to asking what information voters use to form expectations about their own pocketbooks in the future. We argue that voters use information about the economic fortunes of their own economic reference group, rather than the national economy, to form expectations about the impact of government on their own economic fortunes. This allows voters to evaluate both the economic competence of incumbents, as well as the distributive tendencies of incumbents. Allowing voters to evaluate distributional consequences of alternative parties in power is consistent with research showing that left and right parties pursue different economic policies with different distributional consequences (Hibbs 1977, Alesina, Roubini and Cohen 1997}. Thus it allows for a theoretically richer model of voter behavior; and allows us to synthesize the distinct literatures on sociotropic voting and political business cycles. This work is motivated in part by the divergence of wages for different groups of workers since the 1970s. As variance in economic performance increases across groups, we would expect to see more reliance on economic reference groups and less on the national economy as an indicator of the incumbent's likelihood of providing favorable voter-specific economic performance in the future. We examine presidential approval over time across different demographic groups of voters, and show that those approval ratings are influenced both by national economic performance and by group economic performance measured by the change in the group's mean hourly wage.

Economics, Issues and the Perot Candidacy: Voter Choice in the 1992 Presidential Election
Alvarez, R. Michael
Nagler, Jonathan

Uploaded 01-01-1995
Keywords Elections
Multinomial Probit
Economic Voting
Angry Voters
Abstract Theory: Theories of presidential elections (economic voting and spatial issue and ideology models), combined with the popular explanation of "angry voting", are used to account for voter choice in the 1992 Presidential Election. Hypotheses: Voter choice in this three-candidate race is a function of economic perceptions, issue and ideological positions of voters and candidates, or ``voter anger.'' Methods: Multinomial probit analysis of 1992 National Election Studies data including individual-specific and alternative-specific variables. Simulations based on counterfactual scenarios of ideological positions of the candidates and of voter perceptions of the economy. Results: The economy was the dominant factor in accounting for voter decisions in 1992, and Clinton, not Perot, was the beneficiary of economic discontent. While issues (mainly abortion) and ideology did play some role, Clinton was not perceived by the electorate as a ``New Democrat.'' We find little support for the hypothesis of ``angry voting.'' Last, Perot took more votes from Bush than from Clinton.

Heterogeneity, Salience, and Voter Decision Rules for Candidate Preference
Glasgow, Garrett

Uploaded 08-10-1997
Keywords voter behavior
decision rules
rank ordered logit
issue voting
Abstract 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.

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