Can Partisan Cues Diminish Democratic Accountability?

Can Partisan Cues Diminish Democratic Accountability? When evaluating political candidates, citizens can draw on partisan stereotypes and use partisan cues to make inferences about the candidates’ issue positions without undertaking a costly information search. As long as candidates adopt policy positions that are congruent with partisan stereotypes, partisan cues can help citizens make an accurate voting decision with limited information. However, if candidates take counter-stereotypical positions, it is incumbent upon citizens to recognize it and adjust their evaluations accordingly. Using the dual-processing framework, I hypothesize about the conditions under which individuals reduce their reliance on partisan cues and scrutinize counter-stereotypical messages, and test these hypotheses with experimental data collected from a nationally representative sample of adults. The findings show that whether individuals punish a candidate from their party for taking a counter-stereotypical position is contingent on the salience of the issue and the political awareness of the message recipient. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and normative implications of these findings. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Can Partisan Cues Diminish Democratic Accountability?

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Publisher
Springer US
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/s11109-007-9044-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

When evaluating political candidates, citizens can draw on partisan stereotypes and use partisan cues to make inferences about the candidates’ issue positions without undertaking a costly information search. As long as candidates adopt policy positions that are congruent with partisan stereotypes, partisan cues can help citizens make an accurate voting decision with limited information. However, if candidates take counter-stereotypical positions, it is incumbent upon citizens to recognize it and adjust their evaluations accordingly. Using the dual-processing framework, I hypothesize about the conditions under which individuals reduce their reliance on partisan cues and scrutinize counter-stereotypical messages, and test these hypotheses with experimental data collected from a nationally representative sample of adults. The findings show that whether individuals punish a candidate from their party for taking a counter-stereotypical position is contingent on the salience of the issue and the political awareness of the message recipient. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and normative implications of these findings.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 27, 2007

References

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