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By Samuel Merrill III, Bernard Grofman

Professors Merrill and Grofman advance a unified version that comes with voter motivations and assesses its empirical predictions--for either voter selection and candidate strategy--in the USA, Norway, and France. The analyses express mixture of proximity, path, discounting, and celebration identity fit with the mildly yet no longer super divergent rules which are attribute of many two-party and multiparty electorates. All of those motivations are essential to comprehend the linkage among candidate factor positions and voter personal tastes.

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Example text

2d. 2e), reflecting the fact that the voter now disagrees with the candidate on the issue he feels strongest about (the same would happen if it were the candidate who took an extreme position on social policy). 88, reflecting disagreement on the issue on which both have strong feelings. Note that in all six configurations, voter and candidate agree on economic policy but disagree on social policy. The widely varying values of Matthews utility that obtain are a measure of the richness of this model and its capacity to account for the relative intensities with which a voter (or candidate) holds positions on different issues.

88 (the cosine of the relatively small angle of 28 degrees between the voter and candidate vectors). Note that if the voter (or the candidate) changed his intensity on both issues simultaneously by a factor of two (or any other factor), Matthews utility would be unchanged. ) (or candidate) vector, not its direction. Hence, the angle would be unchanged and overall intensity has no effect. 2b), while other positions are unchanged. 51, reflecting the lack of agreement in intensity between voter and candidate on economic policy, although both still favor conservative policy.

These ideas suggested to Reynolds (1974) how to aggregate a voter’s beliefs about a candidate’s issue positions and the voter’s evaluation5 (own opinion or position) on the issues. For each issue, Reynolds placed both belief and evaluation on scales using positive and negative values. For example, +3 might represent a strongly conservative position and +1 a slightly conservative position, whereas -3 would represent a strongly liberal position, etc. Reynolds predicted voter attitudes toward candidates by summing, over issues, the product of the voter’s belief about a candidate’s position on each issue and the voter’s own evaluation on the issue.

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