Download Election Studies: What's Their Use? by Elihu Katz, Yael Warshel PDF

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By Elihu Katz, Yael Warshel

Academic reviews of elections should not within the company of predicting results. they're within the enterprise of explaining them. the easiest reviews deal with vote casting facts as uncooked fabric with which to discover socio-psychological techniques reminiscent of person decision-making and such resources of impact as matters, character, media, socio-economic heritage, and celebration loyalty. The ebb and stream of ideologies and the comparative workings of alternative political structures are middle subject matters on which election stories shed mild. in retrospect on greater than fifty years of vote casting examine, a few of its significant practitioners and critics replicate right here on what has--and has not--been accomplished.

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Maxims like "people don't vote for candidates but against candidates"; "better ignore a charge than answer it"; and "negative campaigning reduces turnout and so helps incumbents'"), rules that tbe researcher thinks should be qualified by many contextual interaction variables. Those who are annoyed when their research is used to sell soap tend to be even more perturbed when it is used to sell politicians, especially ones whom the researcher dislikes. Such partisan applications of election studies have become mntjre tolerated as elections in America have become increasingly viewed as a national sport (Farley, 1938; McCinness, 1969), so that it is permissible and even praiseworthy to work for the home team or the team that pays one's salary (Sabato, 1981).

Lipset (Chapter 4 in this volume) discusses this Cotcambia/Lazarsfe1d election research in rr~oredetail. In the half century since those founding studies additional relations have been discovered but they seem less impressive, perhaps due to frustration of rising expectations. S. , 1954; miller and Shanks, 1996). The concentration of social science resources and publications on these full-scale election studies probably peaked in the years around 1970, although good volumes on the genre continue to appear (Weisberg and Box-Stefiensmeier, 1999).

Candidates increasingly flaunt early fund-raising totals to intimidate rivals from entering the contest, just as a dominant male baboon might use other displays to chase off potential challengers. Campaign Content Characteristics as Independent Variables Archives are being assembled, kept up to date, and made available to researchers, particularly by university and interuniversity consortia. , 1996; Kaid and Bystrom, 1998). Some of this archived material is available already scored on several independent variables regarding substance and style of the competing campaigns; successive users may add scores on additional variables of theoretical or applied interest.

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