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Ideology, Issues, and the Spatial Theory of Elections

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2014

James M. Enelow
Affiliation:
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Melvin J. Hinich
Affiliation:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to explore the connection between ideology and issues in the minds of voters and the relationship between this connection and the electoral prospects of candidates engaged in two-candidate competition. Toward this end we examine the effects on electoral competition of either magnifying or collapsing the expected policy difference that voters associate with a fixed ideological difference. We find that magnifying this difference aids the incumbent, whereas collapsing it aids the challenger. We go on to point out how this second result provides an explanation for the electoral appeal of extremist candidates and an important insight into the question of state stability.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 1982

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References

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