Dead Man Walking: The Affective Roots of Issue Proximity Between Voters and Parties

Dead Man Walking: The Affective Roots of Issue Proximity Between Voters and Parties Do voters like the party they already agree with or do they agree with the party they already like? Previous studies have suggested a link from preferences to perceptions. However, such a causal link has not been convincingly demonstrated. Most issue voting studies have adopted the basic premise of spatial models of voting—that voters compare parties’ positions with their own ideal points and apply a rule to choose among these parties. Drawing on a natural experiment, this study shows that perceptual agreement between parties and voters is endogenous to voters’ party affect. We use the murder of a Dutch politician amidst the data collection period of the 2002 Dutch election study. The death increases respondents’ feelings for his party without providing information about its issue stances. This upward shift in feelings translates into a significant increase in the perceived level of proximity with the party. The design also allows us to explore the mechanism bringing parties and voters closer. Rather than taking up the party’s stances, voters move a party’s positions closer to their own views when their feelings for that party increase. The findings challenge established assumptions about the theoretical underpinnings of spatial models of voting. They support classic notions of voter projection and lend credence to recent theories of attitudinal change, which are based on coarse thinking and uninformative updating. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Dead Man Walking: The Affective Roots of Issue Proximity Between Voters and Parties

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/dead-man-walking-the-affective-roots-of-issue-proximity-between-voters-k3YC1wsDTI
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/s11109-016-9331-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Do voters like the party they already agree with or do they agree with the party they already like? Previous studies have suggested a link from preferences to perceptions. However, such a causal link has not been convincingly demonstrated. Most issue voting studies have adopted the basic premise of spatial models of voting—that voters compare parties’ positions with their own ideal points and apply a rule to choose among these parties. Drawing on a natural experiment, this study shows that perceptual agreement between parties and voters is endogenous to voters’ party affect. We use the murder of a Dutch politician amidst the data collection period of the 2002 Dutch election study. The death increases respondents’ feelings for his party without providing information about its issue stances. This upward shift in feelings translates into a significant increase in the perceived level of proximity with the party. The design also allows us to explore the mechanism bringing parties and voters closer. Rather than taking up the party’s stances, voters move a party’s positions closer to their own views when their feelings for that party increase. The findings challenge established assumptions about the theoretical underpinnings of spatial models of voting. They support classic notions of voter projection and lend credence to recent theories of attitudinal change, which are based on coarse thinking and uninformative updating.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 29, 2016

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed
Create lists to
organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off