Political Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 206–229 | Cite as

The midterm referendum: The importance of attributions of responsibility

  • John R. Petrocik
  • Frederick T. Steeper


Analysts and commentators have long regarded midterm congressional elections as an interim evaluation of the president. Recent research has emphasized the effect of the individual qualities of congressional candidates on the vote. Both factors contributed to the 1982 congressional vote. However, the relative success of the Republican party in 1982 was made possible by the unwillingness of a majority of the electorate to attribute the country's economic problems to the administration. This attribution factor, implicitly ignored in most analyses of the effect of the economy on vote choices, is examined here.


Economic Problem Individual Quality Relative Success Vote Choice Republican Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Petrocik
    • 1
  • Frederick T. Steeper
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.Market Opinion ResearchUSA

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