Directional voting and the Trump base vote. @Larry_Kudlow Morris Fiorina @HooverInst

Nov 29, 2017, 04:52 AM

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Directional voting and the Trump base vote. @Larry_Kudlow Morris Fiorina @HooverInst

Such sentiments suggest that political scientists might take another look at a controversial theory—directional voting. Brie y, standard models of electoral competition assume proximity voting—a citizen votes for the candidate closer to her on the issues. The directional voting theory holds that between two candidates on opposite sides of the neutral point (or status quo), citizens vote for a candidate on the same side as they are, even if the candidate’s promise far overshoots the voter’s own position.48 A voter on the right (left) prefers any candidate on the right (left) so long as the candidate’s position stays within some broad “range of acceptability.” While the argument sounds implausible at rst, one could motivate it by positing that citizens understand that they are not voting for a dictator. No matter what the president wants to do, his actual achievements in a system of shared powers with checks and balances inevitably will fall short. Hence, voters far more moderate than Trump on immigration, the environment, LGBT issues, and so on might still support him because they estimate that his administration’s results will likely move the status quo toward them rather than away from them. Earlier studies report inconclusive empirical support for the theory, but 2016 may offer a favorable context in which to revisit it.49

https://www.hoover.org/research/2016-presidential-election-abundance-controversies