Mandates, Parties, and Voters: How Elections Shape the by James H Fowler

By James H Fowler

Such a lot learn on two-party elections has thought of the consequence as a unmarried, dichotomous occasion: both one or the opposite occasion wins. during this groundbreaking ebook, James Fowler and Oleg Smirnov examine now not simply who wins, yet through how a lot, they usually marshal compelling proof that mandates-in the shape of margin of victory-matter. utilizing theoretical types, desktop simulation, rigorously designed experiments, and empirical info, the authors express that when an election the coverage positions of either events circulation within the course most popular via the profitable party-and they movement much more if the victory is huge. moreover, Fowler and Smirnov not just convey that the divergence among the coverage positions of the events is maximum while the former election was once shut, but additionally that coverage positions are additional encouraged by means of electoral volatility and ideological polarization.

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Extra resources for Mandates, Parties, and Voters: How Elections Shape the Future (Social Logic of Politics)

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Parties use information from the previous election to update their estimate of the location of the median voter. Elections, however, may not provide perfect information about the location of the median voter due to fluctuating turnout, idiosyncratic platforms, changing "policy moods" (Stimson, Mackuen, and Erikson 1995) and a variety of other random shocks (Londregan and Romer 1993; Adams and Merrill 2003). Therefore, for any single election the median voter, m, can be thought of as the outcome of a random variable with mean M.

Result 3: As one party's ideal point becomes more extreme, the equilibrium platforms of both parties move in the direction of the more extreme party. This dynamic may surprise formal theorists and scholars who study party behavior. First, a more extreme platform has a lower probability of winning the election. Second, a more extreme platform can be viewed as an aggressive challenge to the other party. Both factors might warrant a titfor-tat-type response: the other party could similarly choose a more extreme platform closer to its preference point.

Notice that both platforms become more liberal as vote share for the left party increases. The higher left vote share indicates the median voter is farther to the left, so the left party has more leeway to move platforms toward its own preferences, whereas the right feels more pressure to move its platforms toward the center. In other words, both parties move with the mandate. 2 shows the effect of vote share on divergence. Notice first of all that, regardless of the size of the vote share, parties do not converge.

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