An Institutional Analysis of Voter Turnout: The Role of Primary Type and the Expressive and Instrumental Voting Hypotheses
Recent events highlight primary type as an institutional variable that merits further examination in the economics literature on voter turnout. Using panel data for U.S. gubernatorial elections and treating primary type as a proxy for candidate deviation from the median voter, we test whether primary type changes voter turnout and whether that change is dominated by instrumental or expressive voting. The results show that states with more open primaries tend to have greater voter turnout in general elections and that this increase reflects the effect of open primaries on expressive voting.
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