Scholarship on congressional elections holds that competitive elections are different from noncompetitive elections. Specifically, some scholars argue that the level of competitiveness determines the criteria or the weight of various criteria for the voting decision. Using the 1988–1990–1992 Pooled Senate Election Study, this research finds that enhanced electoral competitiveness increases the importance of assessments of presidential performance on the voting decision. These effects are particularly large for voters with high levels of educational attainment. Contrary to previous research, in highly competitive elections the role of ideological considerations is smaller than in less competitive elections.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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