Why representatives are ideologists though voters are not
Though few voters appear to hold consistent ideological views, the roll call votes of congressmen and senators can be well predicted by ideological terms. An explanation for this puzzle is that ideology allows candidates to succinctly explain their views. Because it is difficult to explain detailed positions to voters, a candidate who presents his position in ideological terms may be able to defeat a candidate who supports a set of issue positions that would, in toto, be preferred by a majority of well-informed voters were the voters aware of all the views of that candidate. This effect can be a powerful one. Moreover, ideology may be a source of electoral stability, and a means of providing regularity and structure to elite political debate. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989
Volume (Year): 61 (1989)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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