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Assessing strategic voting in the 2008 US presidential primaries: the role of electoral context, institutional rules, and negative votes

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  • D. Hillygus

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  • Sarah Treul

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Abstract

We examine the nature and extent of strategic voting in the 2008 US presidential primary. In doing so, we distinguish positive strategic voters—those casting ballots for their second choice in the primary and general election—from negative strategic voters—those casting ballots for a candidate they want to lose in the general election. We find evidence of both types in 2008. Moreover, we show that the likelihood of voting strategically is related to the electoral and institutional context. Specifically, those who prefer trailing candidates and who live in states with open primaries or with elections after John McCain became the presumed nominee were more likely to vote strategically. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • D. Hillygus & Sarah Treul, 2014. "Assessing strategic voting in the 2008 US presidential primaries: the role of electoral context, institutional rules, and negative votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 517-536, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:161:y:2014:i:3:p:517-536
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-014-0183-1
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-014-0183-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:66:y:1972:i:01:p:21-37_13 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:03:p:804-815_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Aurélie Cassette & Etienne Farvaque & Jérôme Héricourt, 2013. "Two-round elections, one-round determinants? Evidence from the French municipal elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 563-591, September.
    4. Cherry, Todd L & Kroll, Stephan, 2003. "Crashing the Party: An Experimental Investigation of Strategic Voting in Primary Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(3-4), pages 387-420, March.
    5. E. Frank Stephenson, 2011. "Strategic voting in open primaries: evidence from Rush Limbaugh’s “operation chaos”," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 445-457, September.
    6. Gerber, Elisabeth R & Morton, Rebecca B, 1998. "Primary Election Systems and Representation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 304-324, October.
    7. Jeffrey Milyo & David M. Primo & Matthew L. Jacobsmeier, 2006. "Estimating the Impact of State Policies and Institutions with Mixed-Level Data," Working Papers 0603, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:102:y:2008:i:02:p:215-232_08 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Caitlin Jewitt, 2014. "Packed primaries and empty caucuses: voter turnout in presidential nominations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(3), pages 295-312, September.

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