Sequential Elections and Overlapping Terms: Voting for Us Senate
Posted: 26 May 2001
This paper presents a model in which voters attempt to balance the ideological positions of their Senate representatives. Candidate positions are determined endogenously through a primary system. The median voter theorem is applied in each election to determine winning platforms based on voter preferences which may differ from their individual bliss points. Contrary to the original median voter theorem, the main implications of this model are that: (i) convergence on platform positions is not achieved in the general election, and (ii) extremist candidates defeat moderates in the stable long-run equilibrium.
Keyword(s): Divided government, Median voter model, Primary elections
JEL Classification: D72, H11
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