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

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

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.

Conditional Partisanship: Looking for Partisan Effects on Roll Call Votes in the U.S. House
Patty, John

Uploaded 07-15-2006
Keywords Roll call voting
House Journal
Abstract In this paper, I examine a simple procedure in the United States House of Representatives, approving the Journal, and its implications for legislative business. In particular, following a suggestion made by Sinclair (1995), I examine the hypothesis that such votes are more than simply pro forma motions or dilatory tactics by the minority party. Rather, the taking of such a vote represents a signal (perhaps to members of the House, but at least to the analyst) that the day’s ensuing business is important to at least one party’s leadership and that it is expected to be a close vote. Considering the 102nd-107th Congresses, I show that a recorded vote on the Speaker’s approval of the Journal indicates that the legislative day’s business will be both more contentious (i.e., recorded votes have a smaller margin of passage) and more partisan (i.e., recorded votes are more likely to be “party unity” votes). In addition, the fit of Poole’s Optimal Classification estimates for legislators’ preferences is higher for recorded votes taken on such days. In addition, I discuss the marginal effect of the type and timing of legislative business on these findings, as well as the identity of who calls for the vote on the Journal. Of particular interest are the differential effects for appropriations and “procedural” matters.

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.

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