Electoral Competition through Issue Selection
Politics must address multiple problems simultaneously. In an ideal world, political competition would force parties to adopt priorities that reflect the voters' true concerns. In reality, parties can run their campaigns in such a way as to manipulate voters' priorities. This phenomenon, known as priming, may allow parties to underinvest in solving the issues that they intend to mute. We develop a model of endogenous issue ownership in which two vote-seeking parties (a) invest in policy quality to increase the value of their platform and (b) choose a communication strategy to prime voters. We identify novel feedback between communication and investment. In particular, we find that stronger priming effects can constrain parties to invest more resources in all issues. We also identify the conditions under which parties prefer to focus on their "historical issues" or to engage in "issue stealing."
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 2015|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in: American journal of political science (2015) v.59 n° 1,p.71-90|
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