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Strategic Poll Responses When Elections Create Mandates


  • Chilton, John


Larger margins of victory impart mandates that pull government policy toward a winner's platform. Voters with centrist preferences then may find preelection polls useful. Centrists wish to moderate mandates and may abstain rather than vote for the nearest candidate. If polls are known to elicit voting intentions, then races will tend to be closer than predicted and turnout will be highest in races predicted to be tight. However, voters at the extremes will respond to polls with guile--indeed all voters will. As a result, centrists cannot rely on preelection polls and poll results have no effect on voting. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Chilton, John, 1998. "Strategic Poll Responses When Elections Create Mandates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1-2), pages 21-47, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:94:y:1998:i:1-2:p:21-47

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:102-114_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1993. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 855-878, December.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:83:y:1989:i:02:p:373-398_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Rosenthal, Howard & Alesina, Alberto, 1989. "Partisan Cycles in Congressional Elections and the Macroeconomy," Scholarly Articles 4553031, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. McKelvey, Richard D. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1985. "Elections with limited information: A fulfilled expectations model using contemporaneous poll and endorsement data as information sources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 55-85, June.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:01:p:62-78_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    9. Jonathan Silberman & Garey Durden, 1975. "The rational behavior theory of voter participation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 101-108, September.
    10. Joseph E. Harrington, 1992. "The Revelation Of Information Through The Electoral Process: An Exploratory Analysis," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 255-276, November.
    11. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Burke & Curtis Taylor, 2008. "What’s in a poll? Incentives for truthful reporting in pre-election opinion surveys," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 221-244, October.

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