Centrist by Comparison: Extremism and the Expansion of the Political Spectrum

Centrist by Comparison: Extremism and the Expansion of the Political Spectrum While it is well understood that policy suggestions outside the range of mainstream debate are prevalent in various policy domains of American politics, their effects remain unexplored. In this paper, we suggest that proposing policies far from the political mainstream can re-structure voter perceptions of where alternatives lie in the ideological space. We provide support for this hypothesis using results from six survey experiments. We find that the introduction of extreme alternatives into the public discourse makes mainstream policies on the same side of the spectrum look more centrist in the public eye, thus increasing support for these moderate alternatives. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Centrist by Comparison: Extremism and the Expansion of the Political Spectrum

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-016-9351-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

While it is well understood that policy suggestions outside the range of mainstream debate are prevalent in various policy domains of American politics, their effects remain unexplored. In this paper, we suggest that proposing policies far from the political mainstream can re-structure voter perceptions of where alternatives lie in the ideological space. We provide support for this hypothesis using results from six survey experiments. We find that the introduction of extreme alternatives into the public discourse makes mainstream policies on the same side of the spectrum look more centrist in the public eye, thus increasing support for these moderate alternatives.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 29, 2016

References

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