Voting and Elections


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Written by Jennifer L. Merolla (University of California, Riverside), Laura B. Stephenson, (University of Western Ontario), and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister (Vanderbilt University), this chapter of A Political Science Experiment explores the following questions:

– How do we understand the outcome of elections?
– Are elections necessary for democracy?
– What types of representation can voters pursue?
– What goals do citizens bring to bear on their vote decisions?
– What attracts voters to different candidates?
– How do voters learn about candidates?
– How do candidates communicate their programs to voters?
– What role does the media play in campaigns?
– How important are campaigns to vote choice?
– As the context that shapes citizens, candidates, and campaigns changes, what consequences will that have for change and continuity in electoral behavior and outcomes?