How do voters make up their minds?
Who Votes? <ul><li>People who are registered </li></ul><ul><li>People with more education </li></ul><ul><li>People with mo...
Turnout 2008
Voter Turnout,  2004 & 2008
Effect of education on turnout (2008)
Effect of income on turnout, 2008
Effect of race on turnout? (2008)
Did race make a difference?
Youth voter turnout
The year of the youth vote? 2004 and 2008 turnout rates
Voters are Ignorant
What do voters know? <ul><li>the United States is a democracy (88%) </li></ul><ul><li>presidents serve 4 years (93%) </li>...
What do voters know? <ul><li>99% can name the US president </li></ul><ul><li>25% can name both of their US Senators </li><...
What do voters know? <ul><li>31% can describe affirmative action </li></ul><ul><li>39% can locate Massachusetts on a map <...
How do voters decide? <ul><li>Party ID/Ideology </li></ul>
Party ID as predictor of vote choice for president
How do voters decide? <ul><li>Party ID/Ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluations of the current president, current conditions...
Do voters really decide based on issues presented in the campaign? <ul><li>Median Voter Theorem: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In ...
Do Presidents Win Mandates? <ul><li>Only if: </li></ul><ul><li>Clear campaign positions </li></ul><ul><li>Voters know what...
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Who votes

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Who votes

  1. 1. How do voters make up their minds?
  2. 2. Who Votes? <ul><li>People who are registered </li></ul><ul><li>People with more education </li></ul><ul><li>People with more interest in politics </li></ul><ul><li>People with higher incomes </li></ul><ul><li>African-Americans (all other things equal) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Turnout 2008
  4. 4. Voter Turnout, 2004 & 2008
  5. 5. Effect of education on turnout (2008)
  6. 6. Effect of income on turnout, 2008
  7. 7. Effect of race on turnout? (2008)
  8. 8. Did race make a difference?
  9. 9. Youth voter turnout
  10. 10. The year of the youth vote? 2004 and 2008 turnout rates
  11. 11. Voters are Ignorant
  12. 12. What do voters know? <ul><li>the United States is a democracy (88%) </li></ul><ul><li>presidents serve 4 years (93%) </li></ul><ul><li>know that popular votes don’t elect the president (69%) </li></ul>
  13. 13. What do voters know? <ul><li>99% can name the US president </li></ul><ul><li>25% can name both of their US Senators </li></ul><ul><li>29% can correctly name their representative in the House </li></ul>
  14. 14. What do voters know? <ul><li>31% can describe affirmative action </li></ul><ul><li>39% can locate Massachusetts on a map </li></ul><ul><li>15% can say what the New Deal was </li></ul><ul><li>20% could name a memorable political slogan </li></ul>
  15. 15. How do voters decide? <ul><li>Party ID/Ideology </li></ul>
  16. 16. Party ID as predictor of vote choice for president
  17. 17. How do voters decide? <ul><li>Party ID/Ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluations of the current president, current conditions, economy </li></ul><ul><li>Issues (opinions not otherwise guided by above) </li></ul><ul><li>The candidates’ personalities </li></ul><ul><li>Promises and policies </li></ul>
  18. 18. Do voters really decide based on issues presented in the campaign? <ul><li>Median Voter Theorem: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a winner-take-all system, parties should promote policies that appeal to the voter at the median of the distribution of voter preferences. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In Presidential elections, ensures that candidates will gravitate toward the middle, and NOT try to distinguish their positions </li></ul>
  19. 19. Do Presidents Win Mandates? <ul><li>Only if: </li></ul><ul><li>Clear campaign positions </li></ul><ul><li>Voters know what their own positions are </li></ul><ul><li>Voters know what president’s positions are </li></ul><ul><li>President wins clear electoral victory </li></ul>
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