The effect of electoral rules on voting behavior: the electoral college and shift voting
The Electoral College has a measurable effect on the propensity of the rational voter to vote for the candidate he most prefers. The ‘slippage’ between the individual's articulated preference ordering and his actual vote is analyzed (using 1968 data) with respect to the strategic position of the voter in his state.
The direction of the findings support the theoretically-derived propositions. Nevertheless, the low overall incidence of shifts and the reluctance of voters to shift from nationally-viable candidates demonstrates the overwhelming influence of the national electoral environment.
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