Collective and component constituencies
Wolf, Gregory Joseph
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It is widely known that turnout is substantially lower during midterm elections than it is in presidential elections. However, little research has addressed how turnout varies state by state. It is hypothesized that competitive high profile races increase turnout. Additionally, increases in turnout should impact races down the ballot through coattail effects. These hypotheses are tested in on- and off-year elections, expecting different results due to the presence of the presidential race at the top of the ticket in on-years. The results indicate competitive high profile races significantly increase turnout. Additionally, states with same-day voter registration have higher turnout rates than states that do not. Coattails are extended from the presidential race to House races in on-years and from Senate and gubernatorial races in off-years. Surprisingly, Senate races are the only types of races that see enhanced coattail effects when the race is competitive and they are negative in nature.