The Race for Governor
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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This book focuses on the interaction between voters and candidates that takes place during campaigns. In this work, I combine ideas from several different theoretical traditions to further the understanding of the electoral process. I show that the salience of factors that predict voting behavior in gubernatorial elections responds to what candidates do and say during their campaigns. ...
Chapter 1. Electoral Politics: Background and Review
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Elections are the central component of democratic government. No institution plays a more important role in theoretical discussions and real-world manifestations of governments designed to provide representation for citizens. Quite deservedly, elections have been a major focal point for research in political science. However, gaps remain in the knowledge of how voters and candidates interact...
Chapter 2. Campaigns and Candidates: What Should We Expect?
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More than anything else, an election campaign is a learning process for both candidates and voters. Voters receive information about the candidates from the media, neighbors and coworkers, and directly from the candidates themselves. Voters also learn about the electorate as a whole through the publication of public-opinion polls. Candidates gather information about potential supporters through polls, ...
Chapter 3. A Spatial Model of Issue Salience in Voting Behavior
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In this chapter, I present a formal representation of the theory described in chapter 2.1 In chapter 2, I argued that candidates compete with each other to influence the relative salience to voters of various issues or cleavages by providing information. In doing so, candidates attempt to create what Riker (1990) calls heresthetic change in the issue space of the election. Voters are assumed to vote...
Chapter 4. Data and Methods
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In this chapter, I describe the data and methods used to evaluate predictions about both candidates and voters generated by the theory presented in chapters 2 and 3. The analysis that follows consists of two case studies along with data spanning more than one hundred gubernatorial elections held from 1982 to 1994. I have argued that as a general strategy, candidates try to induce heresthetic...
Chapter 5. Virginia’s 1993 Gubernatorial Campaign
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Campaigns are dynamic events that unfold over time. The themes candidates stress may shift and flow as the campaign unfolds, and all the while the electorate learns more about the candidates. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 will demonstrate that this process culminates on election day with voters responding to the dominant themes stressed by candidates during their campaigns. But first, this chapter and...
Chapter 6. New Jersey’s 1993 Gubernatorial Campaign
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In 1993, New Jersey witnessed one of the more interesting gubernatorial elections in the United States in recent times. Democratic incumbent Jim Florio won his first term in 1989 by a near record-setting margin after two earlier attempts for the governor’s office failed. However, shortly after taking office, he pushed through an unpopular tax increase, leading most observers to conclude that his...
Chapter 7. Abortion and the 1990 Gubernatorial Elections
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This and the next two chapters shift the focus of the analysis away from specific case studies toward a more general test of the theory of campaigns and voting behavior outlined in chapters 2 and 3. In so doing, attention also shifts from the dynamics of campaigns to the impact of campaign themes on election-day voting behavior. Each of these three chapters pools a set of election-day...
Chapter 8. Presidential Approval in Gubernatorial Elections
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In chapter 1, I noted that there is some disagreement regarding the factors that predict voting behavior in gubernatorial elections. In particular, there remains debate regarding the influence of national politics on how voters cast their ballots for the governorship. While the disagreements often center on empirical issues (see the interchange between Carsey and Wright 1998 and Atkeson and...
Chapter 9. Voter Response to Gubernatorial Campaigns, 1982–1992
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Chapters 7 and 8 demonstrated that voters in gubernatorial elections responded in 1990 to appeals made on the abortion issue and in 1994 to appeals based on evaluations of President Clinton. These two chapters provided support for the theory of electoral politics outlined in chapters 2 and 3 by showing that the salience of various demographic cleavages, as well as the salience of opinions on abortion and presidential evaluations, responded to what candidates said...
Chapter 10. Conclusions
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I began this book by suggesting that political science needs a new way of thinking about electoral politics. The subsequent chapters developed and tested a theory of electoral politics that places the campaign itself more squarely at the center of the electoral process. I conclude in this chapter by suggesting more generally the advances made by this study, a broader set of implications suggested...
Appendix A. Models and Methods for the Case Studies
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Appendix B. Models and Methods for the Comparative State Analysis
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Appendix C. Complete Models Examining Votes for Prochoice Gubernatorial Candidates
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Appendix D. Complete Models Examining Votes for Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates
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Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 22 drawings, 31 tables
Publication Year: 2000