Conflicted voters in presidential elections
Reece, Elliott Rogers
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This paper examines the electoral behavior of weak partisans and leaning independents when partisanship and ideology/issue preferences are in conflict. It is hypothesized that the stronger a voter’s issue preferences and ideology are in conflict with their partisanship— defined here as “contradictory issue preferences”— the higher the probability that the voter will not vote for their preferred party’s candidate in a presidential election. The data come from the American National Election Studies Time Series data for the years 1996, 2000, and 2004. Logistic regressions show that voters, predominantly conflicted Republicans, were likely to defect from their preferred party candidate as a function of their contradictory issue preferences in 1996 and 2000, but not 2004.