Issue convergence or issue divergence in a political campaign?
In this article, a two-party contest where candidates allocate their campaign resources strategically between two salient issues is studied. The analysis aims to determine the circumstances under which there is issue convergence (both parties emphasizing the same issue) or issue divergence (different parties emphasizing different issues) during a political campaign. For this purpose, the concepts of a party’s absolute and comparative advantage are used. A party has an absolute advantage on an issue if a majority of voters prefer its position on this issue to that of its opponent. A party has a comparative advantage on an issue if the percentage of votes that it would obtain if voters cared only about that issue is larger than those that it would obtain if voters cared only about the other issue. It is shown here that issue convergence can occur only if one of the parties has an absolute advantage on both issues, but its comparative advantage is not too large. Otherwise, there will be issue divergence in the political campaign. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013
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