A Flexible, Unified, Normalized Euclidean (FUN) Voter Utility Function

Prepared for delivery at the Annual Meeting of the 2015 Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, LA , January 15-17

24 Pages Posted: 25 Dec 2012 Last revised: 11 Jan 2015

See all articles by Kathy Anne Dopp

Kathy Anne Dopp

Independent

Dr. Linda M. Trautman

Ohio University-Lancaster; Ohio University

Date Written: December 20, 2012

Abstract

This paper proposes a new unified voter utility function with both proximity and directional components. This improved unified spatial voter utility function enables researchers to predict voter choices from survey data and test the relative explanatory power of theories of voting behavior measured by opinion or exit poll surveys by combining survey question results. Decision-making processes may be flexibly varied by weighting individual questions, even, if desired, by individual voter. The utility function is normalized to facilitate comparisons between voter groups and to estimate the likelihood of voting, able to incorporate, we believe, virtually any voting behavior theory. Tested against a subset of 2012 ANES time series data, the model performs well.

Keywords: spatial model, voting behavior, political behavior, voter utility function, flexible unified normalized voter utility function

Suggested Citation

Dopp, Kathy Anne and Trautman, Linda M., A Flexible, Unified, Normalized Euclidean (FUN) Voter Utility Function (December 20, 2012). Prepared for delivery at the Annual Meeting of the 2015 Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, LA , January 15-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2193399 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2193399

Kathy Anne Dopp (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

United States

Linda M. Trautman

Ohio University-Lancaster ( email )

1570 Granville Pike
Lancaster, OH 43130
United States
740-681-3380 (Phone)
740-687-9497 (Fax)

Ohio University ( email )

1570 Granville Pike
Lancaster, OH 43130
United States
740-681-3380 (Phone)
740-687-9497 (Fax)

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