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Below results based on the criteria 'voting'
Total number of records returned: 105

Rational Voting
Gelman, Andrew
Kaplan, Noah
Edlin, Aaron

Uploaded 08-02-2002
Keywords elections
rational choice
sociotropic voting
Abstract By separating the assumptions of ``rationality'' and ``selfishness,'' we show that it can be rational to vote if one is motivated by the effects of the election on society as a whole. For voters with ``social'' preferences the expected utility of voting is approximately independent of the size of the electorate, suggesting that rational voter turnouts can be substantial even in large elections. Less important elections are predicted to have lower turnout, but a feedback mechanism keeps turnout at a reasonable level under a wide range of conditions. We show how this feedback mechanism distinguishes voting from other free-rider problems. Our theory is consistent with several empirical findings in political science, including survey results that suggest that people vote based on perceived social benefit, the positive relation between turnout and (anticipated) closeness of the election, other forms of political participation, and declining response rates in opinion polls. Since our ''social'' theory of rational voting is instrumental, it creates a rich foundation to study {em how} people vote as well as why. A rational person should make voting decisions almost entirely based on perceived social benefits of the election outcome.

Economic Perceptions and Information in a Heterogeneous Electorate
Willette, Jennifer R.

Uploaded 04-18-1999
Keywords economic voting
ordered probit
economic perceptions
Abstract he relationship between vote choice and voter evaluations of national economic conditions is well established. There is little attention paid to the formation of those economic evaluations, however. This oversight is important since we know that economic perceptions are not direct reflections of objective economic conditions. To address this issue, I develop a model of economic perceptions which considers that the impact of media information on economic evaluations will differ based upon the `information capability' of the individual. I use 1992 American National Election Survey data to estimate an ordered probit model of economic perceptions allowing the impact of personal economic information and media information to vary based upon the respondents information capability. I test the hypothesis that individuals with higher information capability will give greater weight to media information when evaluating the economy. As information capability decreases, respondents will weight personal economic conditions more heavily.

Strategic Position-Taking and the Timing of Voting Decisions in Congress
Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M.
Zorn, Christopher
Arnold, Laura W.

Uploaded 01-01-1995
Keywords timing
Congressional voting
duration models
proportional hazards
survival rate
Abstract Voting behavior is intimately linked with many of the most prominent questions of concern to students of legislatures, including the strength of legislative parties and factions, the parameters of individual decision making, and the nature of representation (Collie 1985). One critical element of voting in legislatures is the timing of various choices legislators make. The study of strategic position taking and the timing of voting decisions is important for three major reasons: it adds information about the context and sequence of decision making; the analysis more closely approximates members' strategic considerations; and finally, in contrast to most of the literature on legislative roll call voting, the process is examined rather than strictly the result. Yet, despite the importance of position taking and timing, no one has examined comprehensively this crucial aspect of timing. Research on the timing of voting decisions provides insight into theoretical questions regarding the strategic behavior of legislators, institutional constraints on member behavior, and strategies of interest group influence. The project examines the vote to ratify the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been called ". . . the most important vote on Capital Hill since the Berlin Wall came down" (Frenzel 1994, 3).

Indecision Theory: An Informational Model of Roll-Off
Katz, Jonathan
Ghirardato, Paolo

Uploaded 08-05-1997
Keywords voting
formal theory
decision theory
Abstract We address the so-called "roll-off" phenomenon: Selective abstention in multiple elections. We present a discuss a novel model of decision making by voters that explains this as a result of differences in quality and quantity of information that the voters have about each election. In doing so we use a spatial model that differs from the Euclidean one, and is more naturally applied to modeling differences in information.

Is It Worth Going the Extra Mile to Improve Causal Inference? Understanding Voting in Los Angeles County
Brady, Henry E.
Hui, Iris

Uploaded 07-19-2006
Keywords Counterfactual
Abstract Two seemingly unrelated approaches to quantitative analysis have recently become more popular in social science applications. The first approach is the explicit consideration of counterfactuals in causal inference and the development of various matching techniques to choose control cases comparable to treated cases in terms of some predefined characteristics. To be useful, these methods require the identification of important characteristics that are likely to ensure that a statistical condition called “conditional independence” is met. The second trend is the increased attention given to geography and the use of spatial statistics. Although these two approaches have found their ways into the social science research separately, we think that they can be fruitfully combined. Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can improve matching and causal inference. Geography can be conceptualized in terms of “distance” and “place” which can provide guidance about potentially important characteristics that can be used to improve matching. After developing a conceptual framework that shows how this can be done, we present two empirical examples which combine counterfactual thinking with geographical ideas. The first example looks at the cost of voting and demonstrates the utility of matching using zip codes and distance to polling place. The second example looks at the performance of the InkaVote voting system in Los Angeles by matching precincts in LA with geographically adjacent precincts in surrounding counties. This example demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of geographic proximity as a matching variable. In pursuing these examples, we also show how recent progress in GIS techniques provides tools that can deepen researchers’ understanding of their idea.

Geometric construction of voting methods that protect voters' first choices
Small, Alex

Uploaded 08-23-2010
Keywords Geometry
Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem
Election Methods
Ranked Voting
Abstract We consider the possibility of designing an election method that eliminates the incentives for a voter to rank any other candidate equal to or ahead of his or her sincere favorite. We refer to these methods as satisfying the ``Strong Favorite Betrayal Criterion" (SFBC). Methods satisfying our strategic criteria can be classified into four categories, according to their geometrical properties. We prove that two categories of methods are highly restricted and closely related to positional methods (point systems) that give equal points to a voter's first and second choices. The third category is tightly restricted, but if criteria are relaxed slightly a variety of interesting methods can be identified. Finally, we show that methods in the fourth category are largely irrelevant to public elections. Interestingly, most of these methods for satisfying the SFBC do so only ``weakly," in that these methods make no meaningful distinction between the first and second place on the ballot. However, when we relax our conditions and allow (but do not require) equal rankings for first place, a wider range of voting methods are possible, and these methods do indeed make meaningful distinctions between first and second place.

Tactical Coalition Voting
Morton, Becky
McCuen, Brian

Uploaded 07-12-2002
Keywords strategic voting
proportional representation
coalition bargaining
Abstract Most research on voting in proportional representation electoral systems assumes that voters either choose sincerely for their most preferred parties or strategically if threshold constraints mean their party has little chance of winning a seat. Voters are assumed to ignore possible coalition implications of their choices. However, formal models of coalition formation in PR systems, such as Austen-Smith and Banks (1988), assume voters care about the ultimate coalition formation in the parliament and vote strategically in order to affect that coalition formation process, which we call "tactical coalition voting." In this paper, we experimentally evaluate the extent voters in a PR system engage in tactical coalition voting. We find significant evidence that voters, even those non experienced with PR systems, do choose strategically to affect post election coalitions.

Iterative Approaches to R x C Ecological Inference Problems: Where They Can Go Wrong
Ferree, Karen E.

Uploaded 07-10-1999
Keywords Ecological Inference
South Africa.
R x C Tables
Coloured Voting
Abstract King's iterative approach to R x C ecological inference problems involves aggregating groups into broad conglomerate categories like "non-whites" or "non-Christians." Under certain general conditions, this can introduce aggregation bias and multimodality to the data, even when these problems are not present in the original data. The paper develops this argument abstractly and illustrates it with the example of coloured voting during the 1994 South African elections. It then explores methods for averting the problem, both "quick fixes" within the context of King's program, as well ones that move in new directions.

Issues, Economics and the Dynamics of Multi-Party Elections: The British 1987 General Election
Alvarez, R. Michael
Nagler, Jonathan
Bowler, Shaun

Uploaded 00-00-0000
Keywords Elections
Multinomial Probit
Economic Voting
Issue Voting
Spatial Model
Multicandidate Elections
British Elections
Abstract 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.

The Political Entropy of Vote Choice: An Empirical Test of Uncertainty Reduction
Gill, Jeff

Uploaded 08-05-1997
Keywords Entropy
Voting Under Uncertainty
Proximity Spatial Voting Model
Heteroscedastic Probit
Abstract Recent literature in voting theory has developed the idea that individual voting preferences are probabilistic rather than strictly deterministic. This work builds upon spatial voting models (Enelow and Hinich 1981, Ferejohn and Fiorina 1974, Davis, DeGroot and Hinich 1972, Farquharson 1969) by introducing probabilistic uncertainty into the calculus of voting decision on an individual level. Some suggest that the voting decision can be modeled with traditional probabilistic tools of uncertainty (Coughlin 1990, Coughlin and Nitzen 1981). Entropy is a measure of uncertainty that originated in statistical thermodynamics. Essentially, entropy indicates the amount of uncertainty in probability distributions (Soofi 1992), or it can be thought of as signifying a lack of human knowledge about some random event (Denbigh and Denbigh, 1985). Entropy in statistics developed with Kolmogorov (1959), Kinchin (1957), and Shannon (1948), but has rarely been applied to social science problems. Exceptions include Darcy and Aigner's (1980) use of entropy to analyze categorical survey responses in political science, and economic applications by Theil (1967) and Theil and Fiebig (1984). I examine voters' uncertainty as they assess candidates, and measure policy positions. I then test whether or not these voters minimize the cost of voting (specifically the cost of information) by determining a maximum entropy selection. Except for the inclusion of entropy terms, this approach is similar to others in the recent literature. In this paper I develop a measure to aggregate evaluation of issue uncertainty and corresponding vote choice where the uncertainty parameterization is derived from an entropy calculation on a set of salient election issues. The primary advantage of this approach is that it requires very few assumptions about the nature of the data. Using 1994 American National Election Study survey data from the Center for Political Studies, I test the hypothesis that the ``Contract with America'' reduced voter uncertainty about the issue positions of Republican House candidates. The entropic model suggests that voters used the written and explicit Republican agenda as a means of reducing issue uncertainty without substantially increasing time spent evaluating candidate positions.

Should the Democrats move to the left on economic policy?
Gelman, Andrew

Uploaded 09-20-2006
Keywords median voter
Presidential election
public opinion
spatial model of voting
Abstract Could John Kerry have gained votes in the recent Presidential election by more clearly distinguishing himself from George Bush on economic policy? At first thought, the logic of political preferences would suggest not: the Republicans are to the right of most Americans on economic policy, and so in a one-dimensional space with party positions measured with no error, the optimal strategy for the Democrats would be to stand infinitesimally to the left of the Republicans. The median voter theorem suggests that each party should keep its policy positions just barely distinguishable from the opposition. In a multidimensional setting, however, or when voters vary in their perceptions of the parties' positions, a party can benefit from putting some daylight between itself and the other party on an issue where it has a public-opinion advantage (such as economic policy for the Democrats). We set up a plausible theoretical model in which the Democrats could achieve a net gain in votes by moving to the left on economic policy, given the parties' positions on a range of issue dimensions. We then evaluate this model based on survey data on voters' perceptions of their own positions and those of the candidates in 2004. Under our model, it turns out to be optimal for the Democrats to move slightly to the {em right} but staying clearly to the left of the Republicans' current position on economic issues.

Modeling Electoral Coordination: Voters, Parties and Legislative Lists in Uruguay
Levin, Ines
Katz, Gabriel

Uploaded 04-20-2011
Keywords electoral coordination
number of parties
Bayesian estimation
multilevel modeling
strategic voting
Abstract During each electoral period, the strategic interaction between voters and political elites determines the number of viable candidates in a district. In this paper, we implement a hierarchical seemingly unrelated regression model to explain electoral coordination at the district level in Uruguay as a function of district magnitude, previous electoral outcomes and electoral regime. Elections in this country are particularly useful to test for institutional effects on the coordination process due to the large variations in district magnitude, to the simultaneity of presidential and legislative races held under different rules, and to the reforms implemented during the period under consideration. We find that district magnitude and electoral history heuristics have substantial effects on the number of competing and voted-for parties and lists. Our modeling approach uncovers important interaction-effects between the demand and supply side of the political market that were often overlooked in previous research.

The Most Liberal Senator: Analyzing and Interpreting Congressional Roll Calls
Clinton, Joshua
Jackman, Simon
Rivers, Doug

Uploaded 05-12-2004
Keywords ideal points
roll call voting
2004 presidential election
Abstract The non-partisan National Journal recently declared Senator John Kerry to be the "top liberal" in the Senate based on analysis of 62 roll calls in 2003. Although widely reported in the media (and the subject of a debate among the Democratic presidential candidates), we argue that this characterization of Kerry is misleading in at least two respects. First, when we account for the "margin of error: in the voting scores -- which is considerable for Kerry given that he missed 60% of the National Journal's key votes while campaigning -- we discover that the probability that Kerry is the "top liberal" is only .30, and that we cannot reject the conclusion that Kerry is only the 20th most liberal senator. Second, we compare the position of the President Bush on these key votes; including the President's announced positions on these votes reveals the President to be just as conservative as Kerry is liberal (i.e., both candidates are extreme relative to the 108th Senate). A similar conclusion holds when we replicate the analysis using all votes cast in the 107th Senate. A more comprehensive analysis than that undertaken by National Journal (including an accounting of the margins of error in voting scores) shows although Kerry belongs to the most liberal quintile of the contemporary Senate, Bush belongs to the most conservative quintile.

Individual Choice and Ecological Analysis
McCue, Kenneth F.

Uploaded 12-02-2001
Keywords ecological regression
voter transitions
multivariate multinomial
split-ticket voting
aggregation bias
liner probability model
Abstract The use of the linear probability model in aggregate voting analysis has now received widespread attention in political science. This article shows that when the linear probability model is assumed to be consistent for the choice of the individual, it is actually a member of a general class of models for estimating individual responses from aggregate data. This class has the useful property that it defines the aggregate analysis problem as a function of the individual choice decisions, and allows the placement of most aggregate voting models into a common probabilistic framework. This framework allows the solution of such problems as inference of individual responses from aggregate data, estimation of the transition model, and the joint estimation and inference from individual and aggregate data. Examples with actual data are provided for these techniques with excellent results.

Strategic Voting in Germany. Evidence employing King's Ecological Inference
Gschwend, Thomas

Uploaded 10-20-1999
Keywords Germany
Abstract Germany provides an especially interesting case for the study of strategic voting because they use two-ballot system on Election Day. Voters are encouraged to split their votes using different strategies. This is called emph{sophisticated voting}. I disentangle different types of sophisticated 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 West-German districts from the federal election of 1998. To obtain estimates that determine quantity of straight and split-ticket voting between political parties I employ King's method of Ecological Inference (EI). Using these estimates as independent variables in linear regression models, I show that tactical and loan voters secured the representation of FDP and the Greens in the German Parliament.

Explaining the Gender Gap in the 1992 U.S. Presidential Election
Alvarez, R. Michael
Nagler, Jonathan
Chaney, Carole

Uploaded 00-00-0000
Keywords voting
Abstract This paper compares the voting behavior of women and men in the 1992 presidential election. We show that consistent with behavior in previous elections, women placed more emphasis on the national economy than men, and men placed more emphasis on pocketbook voting than women. We also show that while the difference between men and women's preferences and emphasis on no single issue explains the significant gender-gap in vote-choice; a combination of issues examining respondents views on the economy, social programs, military action, abortion, and ideology, can explain almost three-fourths of the gender-gap.

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

Uploaded 07-21-1997
Keywords coordinating voting
moderating voting
probabilistic voting
spatial voting
retrospective voting
presidential elections
congressional elections
split-ticket voting
pivotal voter theorem
beta distribution
multinomial logit
maximum likelihood
Abstract 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.

Partisanship, Voting, and the Dopamine D2 Receptor Gene
Dawes, Christopher
Fowler, James

Uploaded 02-01-2008
Keywords partisanship
genetic association
Abstract Previous studies have found that both political orientations (Alford, Funk & Hibbing 2005) and voting behavior (Fowler, Baker & Dawes 2007, Fowler & Dawes 2007) are significantly heritable. In this article we study genetic variation in another important political behavior: partisan attachment. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we show that individuals with the A1 allele of the D2 dopamine receptor gene are significantly less likely to identify as a partisan than those with the A2 allele. Further, we find that this gene's association with partisanship also mediates an indirect association between the A1 allele and voter abstention. These results are the first to identify a specific gene that may be responsible for the tendency to join political groups, and they may help to explain correlation in parent and child partisanship and the persistence of partisan behavior over time.

Macro vs. Micro-Level Perspectives on Economic Voting: Is the Micro-Level Evidence Endogenously Induced?
Erikson, Robert S.

Uploaded 07-10-2004
Keywords economic voting
vote choice
Abstract Many of the findings regarding economic voting derive from the micro-level analyses of survey data, in which respondents' survey evaluations of the economy are shown to predict the vote. This paper investigates the causal nature of this relationship and argues that cross-sectional consistency between economic evaluations and vote choice is mainly if not entirely due to vote choice influencing the survey response. Moreover, the evidence suggest that apart from this endogenously induced partisan bias, almost all of the cross-sectional variation in survey evaluations of the economy is random noise rather than actual beliefs about economic conditions In surveys, the mean evaluations reflect the economic signal that predicts the aggregate vote. Following Kramer (1983), economic voting is best studied at the macro-level rather than the micro-level.

Ticket-Splitting and Strategic Voting in Mixed Electoral Systems
Gschwend, Thomas

Uploaded 08-22-2001
Keywords Ticket Splitting
Strategic Voting
Mixed Electoral Systems
Multiple Imputation
Abstract This work attempts to refocus the discussion about strategic voting from its narrow focus on single-member district systems. It provides several contribution to the literature on strategic voting, ticket-splitting and on electoral systems. My first contribution is to allow the electoral institutions to vary, thereby opening up the possibility to provide different incentives to operate at the same time for the same voter. I offer a theory that particular institutions not only determine the emph{degree} of strategic voting, but also the emph{kind} of strategies voters employ. In mixed electoral systems strategic voting has two facets. Strategic voters employ either a emph{wasted-vote strategy} or a emph{coalition insurance strategy}. My second contribution is to provide evidence that people vary in their emph{proclivity} to vote strategically, as determined by various motivational factors as well as their capability to comprehend the strategic implications that are offered by particular electoral rules. Evidence supporting these contributions is stemming from an appropriate choice-model using individual-level data from the 1998 German National Election Study

Information Asymmetries and Simultaneous versus Sequential Voting
Morton, Becky
Williams, Kenneth C.

Uploaded 01-19-1998
Keywords sequential voting
simultaneous voting
information aggregation
Presidential primaries
uniform election days
Abstract We theoretically and empirically compare sequential with simultaneous voting elections and the impact of the representativeness of early voters in sequential voting on the electoral outcome when voters have asymmetric information about the candidates. We use a simple three-candidate model where one candidate is a Condorcet winner, i.e. would defeat either opponent in a pairwise competition. However, under complete information multiple equilibria exist in which any of the three candidates could win election. Theoretically, in simultaneous voting elections with voters asymmetrically informed about the candidates, the candidate better known is more likely to win, regardless of whether this candidate is the Condorcet winner or not. In sequential voting, early voters should vote "informatively" and multiple equilibria exist. Using laboratory elections, we investigate our theoretical predictions and consider which of the equilibrium outcomes are more likely. Better known candidates are more likely to win in simultaneous voting, regardless of candidate type. Early voters in sequential voting elections vote informatively and, when given detail on voting by early voters, later voters appear to infer information about the candidates from early voting. The Condorcet winner is more likely to win in sequential voting elections than in simultaneous voting elections when that candidate is less well known. If early voters are not representative of the voting population, there is evidence that their most preferred candidate is more likely to win if they are able to identify their first preference. However, non-representativeness of early voters increases the likelihood that the Condorcet winner will win in sequential voting. For information contact: Rebecca-Morton@uiowa.edu

Attitudes, Uncertainty and Survey Responses
Alvarez, R. Michael
Franklin, Charles

Uploaded 00-00-0000
Keywords uncertainty
survey response
issue voting
attitude stability
Abstract 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.

Heterogeneity and Bias in Models of Vote Choice
Berinsky, Adam

Uploaded 04-21-1997
Keywords voting models
selection bias
missing data
Abstract Voters in the United States do not behave in a homogenous manner. Voting models typically account for such heterogeneity by seeking to decompose the process of vote choice into a number of distinct components. By examining voting choice data in this way, researchers are able to ascertain reasonable estimates of the average effect of various socio-economic and political variables on the candidate selection process. Models of this sort, while plausible, may not properly reflect the true heterogeneity of the American voter. At their core, simple models assume that voters use a common and uniform decision rule when deciding between candidates. But it is possible, if not likely, that different groups and classes of citizens use differently tructured processes to determine their choice of candidates. Searchers have attempted to account for this heterogeneity in a variety of ways. Rivers(1988) and Jackson (1992), for example, have accounted for differences in the voting behavior of individuals by allowing the mean effect of theoretically important variables to vary across individuals. While these approaches are extremely promising, in this paper I will take a different approach and examine three more subtle forms of heterogeneity in the vote choice process: (1) heterogeneity induced by non-random selection from the full population of citizens into the vote choice model sample; (2) heterogeneity due to the interaction of selection bias and non-constant variance; and (3) heterogeneity in the patterns of missing data across groups of the respondents. While much of the discussion in the paper is focused on the first two forms of heterogeneity, it is the third form of heterogeneity - one not typically addressed in the political science literature - that is the most important determinant of the degree of bias in vote choice models. Thus, heterogeneity within the sample of respondents affects the vote choice model estimates, just not in the way I originally envisioned. It is not just heterogeneity in the variance term, or in the selection into the vote choice process that poses a threat to accurate estimates of the power of the predictors in our vote choice models. Rather, it is the failure to preserve or account for the heterogeneity of the paths by which people answer survey questions that is the real bogeyman of vote choice models.

A Compositional-Hierarchical Model of Abstention under Compulsory Voting (poster)
Katz, Gabriel

Uploaded 06-18-2008
Keywords compulsory voting
compositional data
hierarchical modelling
Abstract Invalid voting and electoral absenteeism are two important sources of abstention in compulsory voting systems. Previous studies in this area have not considered the correlation between both variables and ignored the compositional nature of the data, potentially leading to unfeasible results and discarding helpful information from an inferential standpoint. In order to overcome these problems, this paper develops a statistical model that accounts for the compositional and hierarchical structure of the data and addresses robustness concerns raised by the use of small samples that are typical in the literature. The model is applied to analyze invalid voting and electoral absenteeism in Brazilian legislative elections between 1945 and 2006 via MCMC simulations. The results show considerable differences in the determinants of both forms of non-voting; while invalid voting was strongly positively related both to political protest and to the existence of important informational barriers to voting, the influence of these variables on absenteeism is less evident. Comparisons based on posterior simulations indicate that the model developed in this paper fits the dataset better than several alternative modeling approaches and leads to different substantive conclusions regarding the effect of different predictors on the both sources of abstention.

Partisanship, Political Knowledge, and Changing Economic Conditions
Lawrence, Christopher

Uploaded 05-18-2012
Keywords political knowledge
party identification
hierarchical modeling
economic voting
public opinion
political sophistication
ANES 2008-09 Panel
Abstract Existing research is replete with evidence that individuals’ perceptions of the state of the economy are seemingly only loosely connected to more objective evaluations of its state and are contaminated by partisan influences. This paper provides further evidence of why these partisan influences come about, by advancing the hypothesis that citizen political knowledge moderates the effect of partisanship on economic evaluations, grounded in Zaller’s Receive-Accept-Sample model of opinion formation and articulation. The paper also advances the hypothesis that more knowledgeable partisans will respond to changes in elite messaging regarding the economy fairly rapidly after a change in control of the government. I examine these propositions using data from the ANES panel study of public opinion between January 2008 and June 2010, and find evidence affirming the essential interactive role of knowledge and partisanship in the formation and articulation of evaluations of the national economy.

Randomization Inference with Natural Experiments: An Analysis of Ballot Effects in the 2003 California Recall Election
Imai, Kosuke
Ho, Daniel

Uploaded 07-21-2004
Keywords casual inference
Fisher/'s exact test
political science
voting behavior
Abstract Since the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, social scientists have rediscovered a long tradition of research that investigates the effects of ballot format on voting. Using a new dataset collected by the New York Times, we investigate the causal effects of being listed on the first ballot page in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election. California law mandates a complex randomization procedure of ballot order that approximates a classical randomized experiment in real world settings. The recall election also poses particular statistical challenges with an unprecedented 135 candidates running for the office. We apply (nonparametric) randomization inference based on Fisher's exact test, which incorporates the complex randomization procedure and yields accurate confidence intervals. Conventional asymptotic model-based inferences are found to be highly sensitive to assumptions and model specification. Randomization inference suggests that roughly half of the candidates gained more votes when listed on the first page of ballot.

Detection of Multinomial Voting Irregularities
Mebane, Walter R.
Sekhon, Jasjeet
Wand, Jonathan

Uploaded 07-17-2001
Keywords outlier detection
robust estimation
overdispersed multinomial
generalized linear model
2000 presidential election
voting irregularities
Abstract We develop a robust estimator for an overdispersed multinomial regression model that we use to detect vote count outliers in the 2000 presidential election. The count vector we model contains vote totals for five candidate categories: Buchanan, Bush, Gore, Nader and ``other.'' We estimate the multinomial model using county-level data from Florida. In Florida, the model produces results for Buchanan that are essentially the same as in a binomial model: Palm Beach County has the largest positive residual for Buchanan. The multinomial model shows additional large discrepancies that almost always hurt Gore or Nader and help Bush or Buchanan.

Voting, Abstention, and Individual Expectations in the 1992 Presidential Election
Herron, Michael C.

Uploaded 04-07-1998
Keywords voting
selection bias
1992 election
Abstract This paper develops and applies to the 1992 presidential election a statistical model of voting and abstention in three--candidate elections. The model allows us to estimate key preference--related covariates in 1992, the extent to which abstention rates were correlated with political preferences, and the impact on abstention rates of expectations regarding the election winner. Throughout this paper, we contrast our results with those in Alvarez and Nagler (1995), a study of the 1992 election that does not incorporate abstention, and in so doing we illustrate the selection bias risked by presidential election voting research that ignores abstention. Our results highlight the importance of retrospective voting in 1992, and we identify numerous policy issues, for example, the death penalty, environmental spending, and social security, that individuals used to distinguish the three candidates in the 1992 election. Abortion, we find, played only a minor role in candidate choice. We find support for the angry voting hypothesis, namely, that angry individuals often supported the independent candidate, Ross Perot. Concerning abstention, we find that supporters of the Democratic challenger Bill Clinton abstained at higher rates than supporters of Perot and the incumbent president George Bush. And, we find that expectations concerning the likelihood that Clinton was going to be victorious in 1992 influenced abstention rates. Namely, Clinton supporters who believed that Clinton was likely to win voted at higher rates than individuals who believed otherwise. The opposite relation holds for Bush supporters: such individuals, when they predicted a Clinton victory, frequently abstained from voting. The results in this paper suggests that empirical voting studies should explicitly model the impact of expectations on voting and abstention and, more generally, should model abstention as a viable, individual--level

Explaining the Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1980-1992
Chaney, Carole
Alvarez, R. Michael
Nagler, Jonathan

Uploaded 08-22-1996
Keywords presidential elections
gender gap
issue voting
economic evaluations
general-extreme value model
Abstract 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.

Economic Voting: Enlightened Self-Interest and Economic Reference Groups
Nagler, Jonathan
Willette, Jennifer R.
Jackman, Simon

Uploaded 04-09-1997
Keywords elections
presidential elections
economic voting
Abstract One of the more robust findings over the last 50 years in research on\r\nelections has been the importance of macroeconomic conditions on\r\nvoting in U.S. presidential elections. An important finding in that\r\nresearch was made by Steven Weatherford in a 1978 article\r\ndemonstrating that working class voters are more sensitive to economic\r\nconditions than are middle class voters in their vote choice.\r\nWeatherford's result was based on the 1956 through 1960 elections. We\r\nextend Weatherford's analysis for the 1956 thru 1992 elections. We are\r\nunable to produce evidence that poor voters are consistently more\r\nsensitive to the economy than are middle class and rich voters in\r\ntheir electoral behavior. We also offer a new theory of economic\r\nvoting. We propose that voters vote based on the economic performance\r\nof their economic reference group - rather than on their own personal\r\nfinances or on the state of the national economy. We offer a very\r\npreliminary and very crude initial test of this theory using NES data\r\nfor 1956 to 1992.

Non-ignorable abstentions in roll call data analysis
Rosas, Guillermo
Shomer, Yael

Uploaded 07-02-2008
Keywords ignorability
IRT model
roll call data
legislative voting
Abstract How should we deal with abstentions in roll-call data analysis? Abstentions are very common in decision-making bodies around the world, and very often obey to a strategic rationale. Methods to recover ideal points from roll-call datasets -- such as Nominate and MCMC IRT -- are based on assumptions about the ignorability of the abstention- generating mechanism. However, the strategic character of abstentions makes the assumption of ignorability difficult to meet in practice. We discuss different abstention-generating mechanisms to understand the conditions under which they may be deemed ignorable, and extend the MCMC IRT model so as to incorporate information from abstention patterns into inference about legislators' ideal points.

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
Kropko, Jonathan

Uploaded 07-15-2012
Keywords issue voting
finite mixture modeling
multiple imputation
Abstract 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
Paolino, Philip
Lacy, Dean

Uploaded 07-27-2004
Keywords experiment
issue voting
Abstract 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.

Is All Politics and Economics Local? National Elections and Local
Wawro, Gregory
Himmelberg, Charles P.

Uploaded 07-14-2001
Keywords elections
economic conditions
voting behavior
Abstract Scholars have long sought to understand the causal relationships between economics and political participation. Of particular concern has been how economic experiences have affected individuals' decisions to participate in elections and cast votes for candidates of different political parties. Practically all of the studies on elections in the United States have focused on national aggregate economic conditions and national aggregate political outcomes, while only a handful of studies have focused on whether state and local economic conditions affect federal elections. The conclusion one would reach from these studies is that the adage ``all politics is local'' does not apply to economics and elections. In fact, despite the findings of some early studies (e.g. Tufte 1975), recent research would lead us to conclude that economic conditions have no direct effects on congressional elections (Erikson 1990; Alesina and Rosenthal 1995). According to these recent studies, the economy is related to congressional elections only indirectly through its effects on presidential elections. And even in presidential elections, a key economic indicator---unemployment---appears to have little to no effect on presidential elections. In this paper, we question the conclusions of previous studies by considering how the failure to correctly model vote shares at the local level could produce misleading results on the effects for economic conditions on elections in local analysis. We develop a model for local vote shares by adapting a model derived in the empirical literature on demand for differentiated products. Our model explicitly accounts for nonlinearity and aggregation in vote share functions and so avoids some of the problems of standard linear specifications of vote shares that are common in the literature. We estimate our model using data at the local level to assess the impact of economic conditions on presidential vote shares and turnout in the 1992 election. We find that local unemployment does affect presidential votes and these effects vary by demographic groups in interesting ways.

Operationalizing and Testing Spatial Theories of Voting
Quinn, Kevin M.
Martin, Andrew D.

Uploaded 04-15-1998
Keywords spatial voting
factor analysis
multinomial probit
multinomial logit
Bayesian inference
model comparison
Bayes factors
Dutch politics
Danish politics
Abstract Spatial models of voting behavior provide the foundation for a substantial number of theoretical results. Nonetheless, empirical work involving the spatial model faces a number of potential difficulties. First, measures of the latent voter and candidate issue positions must be obtained. Second, evaluating the fit of competing statistical models of voter choice is often more complicated than previously realized. In this paper, we discuss precisely these issues. We argue that confirmatory factor analysis applied to mass-level issue preference questions is an attractive means of measuring voter ideal points. We also show how party issue positions can be recovered using a variation of this strategy. We go on to discuss the problems of assessing the fit of competing statistical models (multinomial logit vs. multinomial probit) and competing explanations (those based on spatial theory vs. those derived from other theories of voting such as sociological theories). We demonstrate how the Bayesian perspective not only provides computational advantages in the case of fitting the multinomial probit model, but also how it facilitates both types of comparison mentioned above. Results from the Netherlands and Denmark suggest that even when the computational cost of multinomial probit is disregarded, the decision whether to use multinomial probit (MNP) or multinomial logit (MNL) is not clear-cut.

Conditional Party Government And Member Turnout On Senate Recorded Votes, 1873-1935
Sala, Brian R.
Forgette, Richard

Uploaded 12-29-1997
Keywords rational voter model
time series
roll-call voting
Abstract According to the conditional party government thesis, party members bond or precommit themselves to supporting "party" positions under certain circumstances. A test of this thesis asks whether party members are more likely to participate in a roll call vote when the question has been identified by party leaders as important to the party. We show that party leadership signals systematically affected member turnout levels in the U.S. Senate during 1873-1935. On average, two-party turnout on party-salient votes rose by more than five members during 1873-1923 and more than three members during 1923-35 relative to "non-salient" votes. These results also provide evidence of cohesive partisan behavior in the Senate well before the parties began the regular practice of designating floor leaders and whips.

Who Needs Ecological Regression? Measuring the Constitutionality of Majority-Minority Districts
Epstein, David
O'Halloran, Sharyn

Uploaded 04-09-1997
Keywords voting rights
ecological regression
Abstract According to the Supreme Courts interpretation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, minority voters must have an equal opportunity to elect the representative of their choice. Yet the key term candidate of choice has never been fully defined, the elections analyzed in voting rights cases are usually for different offices than the ones being challenged and, worst of all, current methods for determining the point of equal opportunity rely heavily on ecological regression. In fact, the ecological fallacy is especially pernicious in voting rights cases, for it can be triggered by exactly the phenomena that the VRA sought to promote. This paper offers an alternative measure of equal opportunity that circumvents ecological regression in favor of probit or logit analyses of electoral results. It also provides a way to compare the likely substantive policy impacts of competing districting schemes. These techniques are then applied to the analysis of elections to the South Carolina State Senate.

How Similar Are They? Rethinking Electoral Congruence
Wittenberg, Jason

Uploaded 07-05-2008
Keywords voting
Abstract Electoral continuity and discontinuity have been a staple of voting research for decades. Most researchers have employed Pearson's r as a measure of congruence between two electoral outcomes across a set of geographic units. This paper argues that that practice should be abandoned. The correlation coefficient is almost always\r\nthe wrong measure. The paper recommends other quantities that better accord with\r\nwhat researchers usually mean by electoral persistence. Replications of prior studies in American and comparative politics demonstrate that the consequences of using r\r\nwhen it is inappropriate can be stark. In some cases what we think are continuities are actually discontinuities.

Forming voting blocs and coalitions as a prisoner's dilemma: a possible theoretical explanation for political instability
Gelman, Andrew

Uploaded 10-27-2003
Keywords coalitions
decisive vote
prisoner's dilemma
voting power
Abstract Individuals in a committee can increase their voting power by forming coalitions. This behavior is shown here to yield a prisoner's dilemma, in which a subset of voters can increase their power, while reducing average voting power for the electorate as a whole. This is an unusual form of the prisoner's dilemma in that cooperation is the selfish act that hurts the larger group. Under a simple model, the privately optimal coalition size is approximately 1.4 times the square root of the number of voters. When voters' preferences are allowed to differ, coalitions form only if voters are approximately politically balanced. We propose a dynamic view of coalitions, in which groups of voters choose of their own free will to form and disband coalitions, in a continuing struggle to maintain their voting power. This is potentially an endogenous mechanism for political instability, even in a world where individuals' (probabilistic) preferences are fixed and known.

How much does a vote count? Voting power, coalitions, and the Electoral College
Gelman, Andrew
Katz, Jonathan

Uploaded 05-08-2001
Keywords coalition
decisive vote
electoral college
popular vote
voting power
Abstract In an election the probability that a single voter is decisive is affected by the electoral system -- that is, the rule for aggregating votes into a single outcome. Under the assumption that all votes are equally likely (i.e., random voting), we prove that the average probability of a vote being decisive is maximized under a popular-vote (or simple majority) rule and is lower under any coalition system, such as the U.S. Electoral College system, no matter how complicated. Forming a coalition increases the decisive vote probability for the voters within a coalition, but the aggregate effect of coalitions is to decrease the average decisiveness of the population of voters. We then review results on voting power in an electoral college system. Under the random voting assumption, it is well known that the voters with the highest probability of decisiveness are those in large states. However, we show using empirical estimates of the closeness of historical U.S. Presidential elections that voters in small states have been advantaged because the random voting model overestimates the frequencies of close elections in the larger states. Finally, we estimate the average probability of decisiveness for all U.S. Presidential elections from 1960 to 2000 under three possible electoral systems: popular vote, electoral vote, and winner-take-all within Congressional districts. We find that the average probability of decisiveness is about the same under all three systems.

Follow the Leader? Presidential Approval, Perceived Presidential Support, and Representatives'Electoral Fortunes'
Gronke, Paul
Koch, Jeffery
Wilson, J. Matthew

Uploaded 04-17-1998
Keywords congress
presidential approval
negative voting
Abstract The relationship between presidential approval and congressional incumbent electoral success has been long established. Surprisingly, the individual level dynamics of this process have been largely unexamined. Drawing on a new set of questions included in the 1993, 1994, and 1996 National Election Studies, we explore the degree to which citizen perceptions of member support for Clinton's legislative program mediate the impact of presidential approval on evaluations and choice. We find that the degree to which individuals thought their members supported the President's legislative program functions just as we hypothesize, enhancing or ameliorating the impact of presidential approval on affective attachments to the member, evaluation of the incumbent's job performance, and congressional vote choice.

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

Uploaded 10-27-1997
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 political scientists 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.

A New Approach for Modeling Strategic Voting in Multiparty Systems
Alvarez, R. Michael
Nagler, Jonathan

Uploaded 04-04-1997
Keywords multinomial probit
strategic voting
Abstract Whether voters vote strategically, using their vote to best further their interests, or vote sincerely, voting for their first choice among the alternatives, is a question of longstanding interest. We offer two innovations in searching for the answer to this question. First, we begin with a more consistent model of sincere voting in multiparty democratic systems than has been presented in the literature to date. Second, we incorporate new operationalizations of the objective potential for strategic behavior than have been used in the past. We offer a test of strategic voting in the 1987 British General Election based on the varience in strategic setting across constituencies in Britain. Prepared for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. This is one of many papers by the authors; the ordering of names reflects alphabetic convention. We thank Jonathan Katz and Guy Whitten for supplying helpful data for this project. We also thank Gary Cox and Jonathan Katz for discussions of this subject. Last, we thank Shaun Bowler for his work with us on a related project.

Buying Votes with Public Funds in the US Presidential Election: Are Swing or Core Voters Easier to Buy Off?
Chen, Jowei

Uploaded 07-09-2008
Keywords distributive politics
Abstract In the aftermath of the summer 2004 Florida hurricane season, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distributed $1.2 billion in disaster aid among 2.6 million individual applications for assistance. This research measures the relative costs and benefits of using FEMA aid to buy votes from swing voters and core voters. First, I compare precinct-level vote counts and individual voter turnout records from the post-hurricane (November 2004) and pre-hurricane (2000 and 2002) elections to measure the effect of FEMA aid on Bush's vote share. Using a two-stage least squares estimator, with hurricane severity measures as instruments for FEMA aid, this analysis reveals that core Republican voters are most electorally responsive to FEMA aid -- $7,000 buys one additional vote for Bush. By contrast, in moderate precincts, each additional Bush vote costs $21,000, while voters in Democratic neighborhoods are unresponsive to receiving FEMA aid. Additionally, by tracking the geographic location of each aid recipient, the data reveal that FEMA favored applicants from Republican neighborhoods over those from Democratic or moderate neighborhoods, even conditioning on hurricane severity, average home values, and demographics. Collectively, these results demonstrate the Bush administration's disproportionate distribution of FEMA disaster aid toward core Republican areas was the optimal strategy for maximizing votes in the Presidential election.

How Legislators Respond to Localized Economic Shocks
Feigenbaum, James
Hall, Andrew B.

Uploaded 01-26-2014
Keywords congress
roll-call voting
economic conditions
Abstract We explore the effects of localized economic shocks from trade on roll-call behavior and electoral outcomes in the U.S. House, 1990--2010. We demonstrate that economic shocks from Chinese import competition---first studied by Autor, Dorn, and Hanson (2013a)---cause legislators to vote in the more protectionist direction on trade bills but cause no change in their voting on all other bills. At the same time, these shocks have no effect on the reelection rates of incumbents, the probability an incumbent faces a primary challenge, or the partisan control of the district. Though changes in economic conditions are likely to cause electoral turnover in many cases, incumbents exposed to negative economic shocks from trade appear able to fend off these effects in equilibrium by taking strategic positions on foreign-trade bills. In line with this view, we find that the effect on roll-call voting is strongest in districts where incumbents are most threatened, electorally. Taken together, these results paint a picture of responsive incumbents who tailor their roll-call positions on trade bills to the economic conditions in their districts.

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.

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