Tag Archives: american political science review

Candidate Positioning and Voter Choice

The lengthy previous literature on candidate positioning has failed to distinguish empirically between these three theories–something that Tomz and Van Houweling (claim to) do in this article. Issue-based voting seems simple enough on its face: Support the candidate who will produce the policies you want. Simple as it sounds, though, there are three competing theories […]

Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism? Direct Evidence from the Israeli Electorate

Terrorism within a particular locality exerts a strong effect, particularly if it occurs within three months of election day. In general, support for right-bloc parties tends to rise in localities that experience terror attacks. Since 1984 Israeli has endured over 500 terrorist attacks, resulting in over 1000 fatalities. These attacks, together with the frequency of […]

Is Voting Contagious? Evidence from Two Field Experiments

This “contagion effect” has a stronger effect on turnout than education, income, or age. Nowhere will you find a human relationship associated with more similarities in voting behavior than you will find between a husband and wife. But what causes husbands and wives to embrace similar ideologies, issue positions, and turnout rates? Maybe it’s just […]

Social Pressure and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment

Suppose that the government made a habit of sending your neighbors a letter after every election, telling them whether or not you had bothered to vote. Would you be more likely to turn out? Suppose that the government made a habit of sending your neighbors a letter after every election, telling them whether or not […]

Vote Buying or Turnout Buying? Machine Politics and the Secret Ballot

Are we observing “vote buying” (as we usually assume) or “turnout buying”? The question isn’t merely academic; “vote buying” smacks of corruption, but “turnout buying” looks more like mobilization Suppose that the Republicans started knocking doors on your street offering you and your neighbors a new flatscreen television if you come out and vote for […]

Cycles in American National Electoral Politics, 1854-2006: Statistical Evidence and an Explanatory Model

In every case, he was startlingly correct; as predicted, the nation’s ideological mood reversed about every 15 years. In 1924, Arthur Schlesinger famously predicted that “Coolidge-style conservatism would last till about 1932.” Later, he added that the “prevailing liberal mood would run its course in about 1947.” In 1949, he predicted once again that “the […]

Framing Public Opinion in Competitive Democracies

The public wouldn’t get the policies it wants; it would get the policies it was duped into wanting. In a democracy, politicians and policy outcomes should be responsive to changes in public opinion. But what if politicians (or others, such as media commentators) were able to manipulate public opinion through propaganda or other, more subtle […]

Effects of “In-Your-Face” Television Discourse on Perceptions of a Legitimate Opposition

Why can some Americans agree to disagree with their “worthy opposition” while others dismiss their political opponents as irrational lunatics? Do we truly believe that ALL red-state residents are ignorant racist fascist knuckle-dragging NASCAR-obsessed cousin-marrying road-kill-eating tobacco-juice-dribbling gun-fondling religious fanatic rednecks; or that ALL blue-state residents are godless unpatriotic pierced-nose Volvo-driving France-loving left-wing Communist latte-sucking […]