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Evidence on the importance of spatial voting models in presidential nominations and elections


  • Lawrence Kenny


  • Babak Lotfinia


ADA scores and Nominate scores are used for the first time to examine the influence of spatial voting records on which candidate wins the party’s presidential nomination and on which nominee wins the general election. We find that the most conservative Republican candidate and moderately liberal Democrats were most likely to win their party’s nomination. For general elections we find that the candidate’s spatial record has nearly as much impact on the outcome as economic growth, which has been the focus of most past empirical research. The nominee whose voting record is more moderate is more likely to be elected. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence Kenny & Babak Lotfinia, 2005. "Evidence on the importance of spatial voting models in presidential nominations and elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 439-462, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:123:y:2005:i:3:p:439-462
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-005-7170-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peltzman, Sam, 1990. "How Efficient Is the Voting Market?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 27-63, April.
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    3. Cooper, Alexandra & Munger, Michael C, 2000. "The (Un)Predictability of Primaries with Many Candidates: Simulation Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 337-355, June.
    4. Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
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    7. Jung, Gi-Ryong & Kenny, Lawrence W. & Lott, John Jr., 1994. "An explanation for why senators from the same state vote differently so frequently," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 65-96, May.
    8. Schmidt, Amy B & Kenny, Lawrence W & Morton, Rebecca B, 1996. "Evidence on Electoral Accountability in the U.S. Senate: Are Unfaithful Agents Really Punished?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 545-567, July.
    9. Goff, Brian L & Grier, Kevin B, 1993. "On the (Mis)measurement of Legislator Ideology and Shirking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(1-2), pages 5-20, June.
    10. Figlio, David N, 2000. "Political Shirking, Opponent Quality, and Electoral Support," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 271-284, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reiner Eichenberger & David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann, 2012. "A comparative analysis of the voting behavior of constituents and their representatives for public debts," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 244-260, September.
    2. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2013. "Quantifying parliamentary representation of constituents’ preferences with quasi-experimental data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 170-180.
    3. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2012. "Evaluating the median voter model’s explanatory power," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(3), pages 312-314.
    4. Joseph Ornstein & Robert Norman, 2014. "Frequency of monotonicity failure under Instant Runoff Voting: estimates based on a spatial model of elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 1-9, October.
    5. David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2012. "Preference Representation and the Influence of Political Parties in Majoritarian vs. Proportional Systems: An Almost Ideal Empirical Test," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    6. David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2011. "Evaluating the Median Voter Model’s Explanatory Power," CREMA Working Paper Series 2011-15, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    7. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann, 2013. "Testing the Median Voter Model and Moving Beyond its Limits: Do Characteristics of Politicians Matter?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2013-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    8. Steger, Wayne P., 2008. "Forecasting the presidential primary vote: Viability, ideology and momentum," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 193-208.

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