Political Behavior, Vol. 27, No. 1, March 2005 ( 2005) DOI 10.1007/s11109-005-3074-9 HETEROGENEITY AND CERTAINTY IN CANDIDATE EVALUATIONS David A. M. Peterson While perceptions of candidate character traits are believed to be an important pre- dictor of vote choice, very little research attempts to explain where these perceptions come from. There is also a remarkable inconsistency in the literature about which voters use traits and which use issues in voting—with completely contradictory results common. The solution to the inconsistency developed here is to focus on the rela- tionship between issues and traits as opposed to just these attitudes’ direct effect on candidate evaluations. By positing that the relationship between issues and trait per- ceptions depends on the citizen’s certainty about the candidate’s issue positions the theory develop here answers questions about the nature of trait perceptions and the heterogeneity of voter decisionmaking. The theory is tested using evaluations of ten different presidential candidates from ﬁve National Election Studies. Key words: candidate evaluations; certainty; trait perceptions; voter heterogeneity. Voters evaluate candidates like they evaluate other people they encounter. We form impressions of candidates’ abilities, intelligence, integrity, and hon- esty, and we rate and evaluate the candidates in part based on
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 28, 2005
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud