The Down-Ballot Problem: Concurrent Elections and Cognitive Limitations on Voting Behavior
50 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 30 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
Using ANES data on political knowledge and opinions about government, this research examines the electorate’s ability to cast rational votes based simply upon the number of major contests on the ballot. Focusing particularly upon knowledge of house and senate candidates, this also has implications about other races farther down the ballot. Finding that respondents have minimal knowledge always, but that knowledge of house candidates decreases as additional races are placed on the ballot while knowledge of senate candidates increases, I then turn to investigating how else the number of races being contested impacts other measures of political interest, knowledge and evaluations of government.
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