Day 10 - Dynamics of Voting

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Day 10 - Dynamics of Voting

  1. 1. Day 10 – Dynamics of Voting July 11, 2013
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda  Continue discussion on political behavior.  2012 Exit Polls  Discuss how the makeup of the electorate varies in different elections and consider potential consequences.  Research example: Ballot Initiatives and Electoral Timing  Examine other forms of responsiveness  Sulkin and “issue uptake”
  3. 3. Demographics and Exit Polling  CNN – Infographics for each questions  http://www.cnn.com/election/2012/results/race/president  New York Times – Can see historical trends and state- level breakdown  Presidential Election results  http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president/exit-polls  House results  http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/house/exit- polls?gwh=C62EF260D73A926469AC9772A857BD60  Senate results  http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/senate/exit- polls?gwh=2FA48428606705EADA7EE25CAFC4AFF7  Fox News - Result for every question (you can see the number of respondents here.)  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2012-exit-poll
  4. 4. How Voters Decide  Low-information rationality  Party loyalties  Explains 90% of vote choice among registered Democrats and Republicans  Independents  True independents versus closet partisans  Partisan resurgence  Examples of strong versus weak party ties  Split-ticket voting  Driven largely by partisan shifts in the South (p.91)
  5. 5. Changing Voter Distributions by Election  Figure 4-2 in DOL  Why do less people vote in midterms?  Does the electorate look different?  Affluent  More Educated
  6. 6. Changing Makeup of Voters Source: McDonald (2010) “Voter Turnout in the 2010 Midterm Election”, The Forum 8(4) Source: Hannah (2013) “Ballot Initiatives and Electoral Timing” Unpublished. How might an older group of voters during Midterms affect election results?
  7. 7. Surge and Decline Theory  Excitement of a winning presidential campaign attracts intermittent or peripheral voters. (DOL p.92)  How does their participation affect other candidates?  What happens in midterm election years?  Core voters remain  “Low stimulus”  Challenges to surge and decline theory.  Jacobson and Kernell (1983) – “strategic politicians” recognize that midterm years are often seen as good years for the out party.
  8. 8. Surge and Decline Theory From Bafumi, Erikson, Wlezien (2010) “Balancing, Generic Polls, and Midterm Congressional Elections” Journal of Politics 72(3)
  9. 9. Ballot Initiatives and Electoral Timing  “Tell your friends: We lost because of timing, not lack of public support.”  Scott Morgan – CA Proposition 19 Advocate (Legalization of Marijuana)  Conventional wisdom states that more conservative voters participate in midterm elections.  This should have an even greater effect on direct initiatives – where voters decide on specific policy instead of candidates.  What policies might be particularly affected by this? Following slides are from Hannah, Lee. 2013 “Ballot Initiatives and Electoral Timing”, Unpublished. Parts of paper presented at 2011 and 2012 State Politics and
  10. 10. Morality Policy and Direct Democracy Abortio n, 10% Civil Rights, 4% Crime Policy, 8 % Drugs, 5 % English Languag e, 4% Gaming, 34% Guns, 2 % Gay Rights, 10% Assisted Suicide; 2% Other, 2 1% Morality Policy by Category (N=254)
  11. 11. Research Question  Does the timing of an election systematically affect the results of ballot initiative campaigns?  Do the demographic differences in the electorate between midterm and presidential elections affect results?  Why yes? Why no?  Do certain candidates provide favorable conditions, or surges, for initiative campaigns?  Do popular liberal candidates affect the chances of a liberal outcome on an initiative?  Do popular conservative candidates affect the chances of a conservative outcome on an initiative.  In short, do popular presidential candidates provide a coat-tail for the initiative campaign?
  12. 12. Defining Surge Elections Type of Election Election Year Margin of Victory Notes Republican Surge Election 1980 9.7 – Reagan (50.7); Carter (41.0) 1984 18.2 – Reagan (58.8); Mondale (40.6) 1988 8.5 – Bush (53.4); Dukakis (45.6) Democratic Surge Election 1996 8.5 – Clinton (49.2); Dole (40.7) 2008 7.2 – Obama (52.9); McCain (45.7) Non-Surge Election 1968-1976 --- *Candidates do not take unique stances on morality policy. 1992 5.6 – Clinton (43.0); Bush (37.4) *Candidacy of Ross Perot complicates Democratic surge arguments. 2000 -.6 – Bush (47.9-); Gore (48.5) *This margin is too close to be considered a surge election. 2004 2.4 – Bush (50.7); Kerry (48.3) *This margin is too close to be considered a surge election.
  13. 13. Model & Analysis  Dependent Variable - % Conservative Vote on an Initiatives  Example: Initiative Category Conservative ? % Yes D.V.: Conservative Vote MI – Proposal 08-02 (2008) – Removes some restrictions from embryonic stem cell research Morality No (0) 52.6 100-52.6 = 47.4 AZ – Prop 202 (1998) – Allow federal office candidates to declare position on abolition of income tax and IRS, and have that appear on ballot. Tax Yes (1) 45 45
  14. 14. Model – Logistic Regression Covariate Expected Direction Education - Fundamentalist + Catholic + Black +/- Hispanic +/- Ideology - Midterm Election + Special Election + Gubernatorial Election - Democratic Surge Election - Republican Surge Election + StateDemographic Factors ElectoralContext Factors Dependent Variable: Conservative Outcome (1) Three Models: 1- Full Model (254) 2- Model Excluding Gaming (169) 3 - Model only Gaming (85)
  15. 15. Liberal Effects Conservative Effects -1.05 -1.47 -2.22 1.57 -0.59
  16. 16. Results  State-level demographics have little effect on the odds of a conservative outcome  Timing matters (Model 2):  Odds of a conservative outcome is 1 to 4 in Democratic surge elections.  Nearly 5 to 1 in Republican surge elections.  Interestingly, odds of a conservative outcome in gaming policy decreases to nearly 1 to 10 in Republican surge elections.  Results are robust for:  Region  Political culture (Elazar 1972).  Fixed-effects model controlling for states.  OLS Models.  Close Elections.
  17. 17. Conclusions  It is unlikely that the initiative process could be manipulated in regards to timing.  Conservative outcomes are no more likely in midterm elections and might even be less likely.  Results possibly due some combination of:  Increased initiative awareness in midterms (Smith 2001)  The ability of morality policy initiatives to increase turnout and interest (Nicholson 2003)  The increased mobilization potential of initiative campaigns during midterms (Donovan et al. 2009).  Results suggest that initiative campaigns benefit from the coattails of popular presidential candidates.
  18. 18. Discussion  If we are trying to determine whether a legislator is responsive to their constituents or not, what evidence might we use to build a case?
  19. 19. Legislators as Representatives  Mayhew (1974) identifies three general categories of activities that legislators use to express their interests and promote reelection  Advertising  Credit-claiming  Position-taking  Which aspect is Sulkin investigating?
  20. 20.  “In short, elections can promote responsiveness not just by serving as a mechanism through which constituents can replace poorly performing legislators, but also by providing an incentive for all legislators to adapt their behavior in office to avoid a challenge.” Sulkin (2005, p.25)

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