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The Electoral College System, Political Party Dominance, and Voter Turnout, With Evidence from the 2004 Presidential Election

  • Richard Cebula


  • Holly Meads
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    Within the context of a broadened version of the “rational voter model,” this study empirically investigates a hypothesis that asserts that within the context of the Electoral College System, the greater the degree to which either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party dominates the other in any given state, the lower the aggregate voter participation rate in that state. Using the 2004 Presidential election as the study period, the analysis includes a number of economic and demographic variables. Using a different methodology than previous studies of voter turnout and the Electoral College System, as well as more current data, this study finds strong empirical evidence for the hypothesis. It also is suggested that, logically, the Electoral College System distorts the pattern of voter turnout across states. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2008

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    Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 53-64

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:53-64
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    1. Milton Kafoglis & Richard Cebula, 1981. "The Buchanan-Tullock model: Some extensions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 179-186, January.
    2. Tullock, Gordon, 1971. "Public Decisions as Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 913-18, July-Aug..
    3. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
    4. Richard Cebula, 2001. "The electoral college and voter participation: Evidence on two hypotheses," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(3), pages 304-310, September.
    5. Richard Cebula, 2004. "Expressiveness and voting: Alternative evidence," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 32(3), pages 216-221, September.
    6. Ashenfelter, Orley C & Kelley, Stanley, Jr, 1975. "Determinants of Participation in Presidential Elections," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 695-733, December.
    7. Katherine Swartz, 2003. "Reinsuring Risk to Increase Access to Health Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 283-287, May.
    8. Lapp, Miriam, 1999. " Incorporating Groups into Rational Choice Explanations of Turnout: An Empirical Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(1-2), pages 171-85, January.
    9. Greene, Kenneth V & Nikolaev, Oleg, 1999. " Voter Participation and the Redistributive State," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(1-2), pages 213-26, January.
    10. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
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