Political Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 205–227 | Cite as

Do Moderate Voters Weigh Candidates’ Ideologies? Voters’ Decision Rules in the 2010 Congressional Elections

  • James Adams
  • Erik Engstrom
  • Danielle Joeston
  • Walt Stone
  • Jon Rogowski
  • Boris Shor
Original Paper

Abstract

Models of voting behavior typically specify that all voters employ identical criteria to evaluate candidates. We argue that moderate voters weigh candidates’ policy/ideological positions far less than non-moderate voters, and we report analyses of survey data from the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study that substantiate these arguments. Across a wide range of models and measurement strategies, we find consistent evidence that liberal and conservative voters are substantially more responsive to candidate ideology than more centrist voters. Simply put, moderate voters appear qualitatively different from liberals and conservatives, a finding that has important implications for candidate strategies and for political representation.

Keywords

Voting Elections Congress 

Supplementary material

11109_2016_9355_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Adams
    • 1
  • Erik Engstrom
    • 1
  • Danielle Joeston
    • 1
  • Walt Stone
    • 1
  • Jon Rogowski
    • 2
  • Boris Shor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUC DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Washington-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Political ScienceGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

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