Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Unified Models of Turnout and Vote Choice for Two-Candidate and Three-Candidate Elections

  • Mitchell S. Sanders

Abstract

In this article I use a theory of individual utility maximization to derive a unified model of electoral behavior that includes both candidate choices and turnout decisions. Compared to this new unified model, existing specifications for jointly considering turnout and vote choice are found to be theoretically or empirically lacking. I provide methods for testing my model in elections with two or three candidates, and I show that the parameters of these models can be estimated without difficulty using maximum likelihood techniques. Application of these unified models to the 1988 and 1992 American presidential elections illustrates the potential contrasts between unified models and models that consider only candidate choices.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Abramson, Paul R., and Aldrich, John H. 1982. “The Decline of Electoral Participation in America.” American Political Science Review 76: 502–21.
Abramson, Paul R., Aldrich, John H., and Rohde, David W. 1995. Change and Continuity in the 1992 Elections. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.
Alvarez, R. Michael, and Nagler, Jonathan. 1995. “Economics, Issues and the Perot Candidacy: Voter Choice in the 1992 Presidential Election.” American Journal of Political Science 39: 719–44.
Amemiya, Takeshi. 1985. Advanced Econometrics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Born, Richard. 1990. “Surge and Decline, Negative Voting, and the Midterm Loss Phenomenon: A Simultaneous Choice Analysis.” American Journal of Political Science 34: 615–45.
Brady, Henry E., and Ansolabehere, Stephen. 1989. “The Nature of Utility Functions in Mass Publics.” American Political Science Review 83: 143–63.
Caldeira, Gregory A., Patterson, Samuel C., and Markko, Gregory A. 1985. “The Mobilization of Voters in Congressional Elections.” Journal of Politics 47: 490509.
Dastoor, Naorayex K. 1985. “A Classical Approach to Cox's Test for Nonnested Hypotheses.” Journal of Econometrics 27: 363–70.
Davidson, Russell, and MacKinnon, James G. 1993. Estimation and Inference in Econometrics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Deacon, Robert, and Shapiro, Perry. 1975. “Private Preferences for Collective Goods Revealed through Voting on Referenda.” American Economic Review 65: 943–55.
Downs, Anthony. 1957. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.
Dubin, Jeffrey A., and Rivers, Douglas. 1990. “Selection Bias in Linear Regression, Logit and Probit Models.” Sociological Methods and Research 18: 360–90.
Enelow, James, and Hinich, Melvin J. 1984. The Spatial Theory of Voting. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Evans, Merran, Hastings, Nicholas, and Peacock, Brian. 1993. Statistical Distributions. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Filer, John E., and Kenney, Lawrence W. 1980. “Voter Turnout and the Benefits of Voting.” Public Choice 35: 575–85.
Germond, Jack W., and Witcover, Jules. 1989. Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars? The Trivial Pursuit of the Presidency 1988. New York: Warner Books.
Germond, Jack W., and Witcover, Jules. 1993. Mad as Hell: Revolt at the Ballot Bos, 1992. New York: Warner Books.
Goldman, Peter, and Matthews, Tom. 1989. The Quest for the Presidency 1988. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Goldman, Peter, DeFrank, Thomas M., Miller, Mark, Murr, Andrew, and Matthews, Tom. 1994. Quest for the Presidency 1992. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.
Greene, William H. 1993. Econometric Analysis. New York: Macmillan.
Key, V. O. Jr. 1966. The Responsible Electorate. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Kinder, Donald R., and Roderick Kiewiet, D. 1979. “Economic Discontent and Political Behavior: The Role of Personal Grievances and Collective Economic Judgments in Congressional Voting.” American Journal of Political Science 23: 495527.
Kinder, Donald R., and Roderick Kiewiet, D. 1981. “Sociotropic Politics: The American Case.” British Journal of Political Science 11: 129–61.
King, Gary, Keohane, Robert O., and Verba, Sidney. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Ledyard, John. 1984. “The Pure Theory of Two-Candidate Elections.” Public Choice 44: 160.
Leighley, Jan E., and Nagler, Jonathan. 1992. “Individual and Systemic Influences on Turnout: Who Votes? 1984.” Journal of Politics 54: 718740.
Luce, Duncan R. 1956. “Semiorders and a Theory of Utility Discrimination.” Econometrica 24: 178–91.
Maddala, G. S. 1983. Limited-Dependent and Qualitative Variables in Econometrics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Markus, Gregory B. 1988. “The Impact of Personal and National Economic Economic Conditions on the Presidential Vote: A Pooled Cross-Sectional Analysis.” American Journal of Political Science 32: 137–54.
Miller, Warren E., and the National Election Studies. 1989. American National Election Study, 1988: Pre- and Post-Election Survey [computer file]. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan, 1989 [original producer]. 2nd ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, 1989 [producer and distributor].
Miller, Warren E., Kinder, Donald R., Rosenstone, Steven J., and the National Election Studies. 1993. American National Election Study, 1998: Pre- and Post-Election Survey [Enhanced with 1990 and 1991 data] [computer file]. Conducted by University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, ML
University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies, and Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producers], 1993. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993.
Moon, David. 1992. “The Determinants of Turnout in Presidential Elections: An Integrative Model Accounting for Information.” Political Behavior 14: 123–40.
Noll, Roger G. 1993. “Downsian Thresholds and the Theory of Political Advertising.” In Information, Participation and Choice, ed. Grofman, Bernard. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Nownes, Anthony J. 1992. “Primaries, General Elections, and Voter Turnout.” American Politics Quarterly 20: 205–26.
Page, Benjamin I. 1978. Choices and Echoes in Presidential Elections. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Page, Benjamin I., and Brody, Richard A. 1972. “Policy Voting and the Electoral Process: The Vietnam War Issue.” American Political Science Review 66: 979–95.
Palfrey, Thomas R., and Poole, Keith T. 1987. “The Relationship between Information, Ideology, and Voting Behavior.” American Journal of Political Science 31: 511–30.
Petrocik, John R. 1991. “An Algorithm for Estimating Turnout as a Guide to Predicting Elections.” Public Opinion Quarterly 55: 643–47.
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 1984. “U.S. Presidential Elections 1968-80: A Spatial Analysis.” American Journal of Political Science 28: 282312.
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 1997. Congress: A Political-Economic History of Roll Call Voting. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ragsdale, Lyn, and Rusk, Jerrold G. 1993. “Who Are Nonvoters? Profiles from the 1990 Senate Study.” American Journal of Political Science 37: 721–46.
Riker, William H., and Ordeshook, Peter C. 1968. “A Theory of the Calculus of Voting.” American Political Science Review 62: 2542.
Runkel, David R., ed. 1989. Campaign for President: The Managers Look at ‘88. Dover, MA: Auburn House.
Schattschneider, E. E. 1960. The Semisovereign People. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Sigelman, Lee. 1982. “The Nonvoting Voter in Voting Research.” American Journal of Political Science 26: 4756.
Sigelman, Lee, Roeder, Philip W., Jewell, Malcolm E., and Baer, Michael A. 1985. “Voting and Nonvoting: A Multi-election Perspective.” American Journal of Political Science 29: 749–65.
Southwell, Priscilla L. 1988. “The Mobilization Hypothesis and Voter Turnout in Congressional Elections 1974-1982.” Western Political Quarterly 41: 273–87.
Squire, Peverill, Wolfinger, Raymond E., and Glass, David P. 1987. “Residential Mobility and Voter Turnout.” American Political Science Review 81: 4565.
Stanley, Harold W., and Niemi, Richard G. 1990. Vital Statistics on American Politics. 2d edition. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.
Stanley, Harold W., and Niemi, Richard G. 1994. Vital Statistics on American Politics. 4th edition. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.
Wolfinger, Raymond E., and Rosenstone, Steven J. 1980. Who Votes? New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Woodward, Bob. 1994. The Agenda. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Zaller, John R. 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Zipp, John F. 1985. “Perceived Representativeness and Voting: An Assessment of the Impact of ‘Choices’ vs. ‘Echoes.’American Political Science Review 79: 5061.
MathJax
MathJax is a JavaScript display engine for mathematics. For more information see http://www.mathjax.org.

Unified Models of Turnout and Vote Choice for Two-Candidate and Three-Candidate Elections

  • Mitchell S. Sanders

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed