Toward Equilibrium: Fluctuations in Candidate Support during Presidential Campaigns

19 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 12 Apr 2010

Date Written: March 31, 2010

Abstract

This paper takes a step towards a better understanding of the context within which campaign events influence public support for candidates in presidential general election campaigns. I revisit Holbrook’s (1996) hypothesis that public support tends to move toward the equilibrium (forecast). Holbrook tested the hypothesis for the 1984-92 campaigns (six conventions, seven debates). I extend the analysis to 1964-2008 for the conventions and 1976-2008 for the debates (24 conventions, 22 debates). In addition, I measure the impact of systematic and unsystematic campaign effects for 1948-2008 using a variation of Campbell’s (2008) approach.

Suggested Citation

Gurian, Paul-Henri, Toward Equilibrium: Fluctuations in Candidate Support during Presidential Campaigns (March 31, 2010). Western Political Science Association 2010 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1581119

Paul-Henri Gurian (Contact Author)

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