Crashing the Party: An Experimental Investigation of Strategic Voting in Primary Elections
The effect of primary formats on voting behavior and candidate fortune has been the topic of recent political, academic and legal arguments. We address these debates by examining voter behavior and election outcomes across primary systems in the laboratory. While we find the rate of strategic voting is generally low, the rate varies across primary formats and the potential impact on election outcomes differs from conventional perceptions. Results suggest that more open primary systems generate more strategic voting, but contrary to conventional wisdom, more open systems do not necessarily lead to more moderate election winners. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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