A Conflict Theory of Voting
Research in the behavioral psychology of voting has found that voters tend to be poorly informed, highly responsive to candidate personality, and follow a "fast and frugal" heuristic. This paper analyzes optimal candidate strategies in a two-party election in which voters are assumed to behave according to these traits. Under this assumption, candidates face a trade-off between appealing to a broader base and being overly ambiguous in their policy stances. A decrease in the cost of ambiguity within this model offers a parsimonious justification for the increase in voter independence, candidate ambiguity, and party politics that empirical studies have revealed over the last five decades. I additionally argue a decrease in the cost of ambiguity is a natural result of the primary system, campaign finance reform, and changing media environment.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2008|
|Date of revision:||Mar 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1309 East Tenth Street, Room 451, Bloomington, IN 47405-1701|
Web page: http://kelley.iu.edu/bepp/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jeffrey Milyo & Tim Groseclose, 2005.
"A Measure of Media Bias,"
0501, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 25 Aug 2005.
- Jeremy Petranka, 2009. "A Threshold Interpretation of the Ratio-Form Contest Success Function," Working Papers 2010-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, revised Mar 2010.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2010-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rick Harbaugh)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.