Presidents Shaping Public Opinion in Parliamentary Democracies: A Survey Experiment in Turkey
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- Aytaç, S.E. & Çarkoğlu, A. Polit Behav (2017). doi:10.1007/s11109-017-9404-x
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Many parliamentary democracies feature a president alongside a prime minister. While these presidents have a nonpartisan status as head of state, they often have had long political careers with partisan affiliations before assuming office. How do voters react when such actors make issue statements to shape public opinion? Are such statements filtered through voters’ partisan lenses, provoked by the partisan background of these actors? Or perhaps partisan reactions are not invoked, owing to the nonpartisan status of the office? We argue that voters’ reactions depend on the issue domain. Partisan reactions will be invoked only when the statements are about issues outside the president’s prerogatives. We provide evidence for our argument from a population-based survey experiment in Turkey.