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The Friends and Neighbors Effect in Judicial Retention Elections

Political Research Quarterly , Volume 40 (4): 703 – Dec 1, 1987


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1987 by SAGE Publications
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The Friends and Neighbors Effect in Judicial Retention Elections


The Friends and Neighbors Effect in Judicial Retention Elections SAGE Publications, Inc.1987DOI: 10.1177/106591298704000409 Larry T. Aspin Bradley University William K. Hall Bradley University HIS is a study of judicial retention elections for major trial court t judges. Judicial retention elections differ from the more traditional -A- partisan or nonpartisan elections in several respects. The absence of traditional voting cues including party labels, candidate appeals, incumbency, campaigns, and relatively fewer issues makes these plebiscites a most interesting topic for examination. One of the few traditional voting cues present in judicial retention elections is the cue of "friends and neighbors," which has received little scholarly attention (Key 1949; Dubois 1979; Griffin and Horan 1982). This article will rectify this oversight by empirically examining the "friends and neighbors" effect in judicial retention elections. It is said that all politics are local politics. We found it surprising therefore, that one of the voting cues which has received very little attention is "friends and neighbors." Voting on the basis of friends and neighbors is a Babbit-like calculated promotion of local interest. The candidate garners support (votes) "not primarily for what he stands for or because of his capacities, but because of where he
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