Campaign Activism and the Spatial Model: Getting Beyond Extremism to Explain Policy Motivated Participation

Campaign Activism and the Spatial Model: Getting Beyond Extremism to Explain Policy Motivated... To date, most models of policy motivated campaign participation claim participation derives from the intensity or extremism of one’s policy views. I approach the policy motivation differently, generalizing the logic of proximity voting to model policy motivated campaign participation. Modeling participation as a function of extremism captures the activist’s policy preferences and suggests those with strong preferences participate more, while modeling participation as a function of proximity captures both the activist’s policy preferences and the relevant comparisons to the positions of the candidates. Noting the two alternatives lead to different predictions about variation in individual participation beyond turnout (e.g. campaign activities), I find consistent support for a proximity model of activism and I find no independent effect of extremism once I control for proximity. Moreover, the proximity model’s predictions about ideological responsiveness to changes in the candidates’ locations over time prove robust, while predictions based solely on ideological extremism do not. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Campaign Activism and the Spatial Model: Getting Beyond Extremism to Explain Policy Motivated Participation

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-006-9024-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To date, most models of policy motivated campaign participation claim participation derives from the intensity or extremism of one’s policy views. I approach the policy motivation differently, generalizing the logic of proximity voting to model policy motivated campaign participation. Modeling participation as a function of extremism captures the activist’s policy preferences and suggests those with strong preferences participate more, while modeling participation as a function of proximity captures both the activist’s policy preferences and the relevant comparisons to the positions of the candidates. Noting the two alternatives lead to different predictions about variation in individual participation beyond turnout (e.g. campaign activities), I find consistent support for a proximity model of activism and I find no independent effect of extremism once I control for proximity. Moreover, the proximity model’s predictions about ideological responsiveness to changes in the candidates’ locations over time prove robust, while predictions based solely on ideological extremism do not.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 21, 2007

References

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