When and for Whom Moral Proximity Matters: Measuring the Economic and Moral Distances between Citizens and Candidates, and Their Effects on Voting
Midwest Political Science Association 2011 Conference, Chicago, IL
31 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2015
Date Written: April 3, 2011
Substantively, this paper seeks to refine what we know about the weights placed by voters on House candidates' moral and economic preferences. Which voters value the moral and social positions of candidates more than or as much as candidate economic preferences? Results suggest that the traditional dominance ascribed to voters' economic concerns is misplaced. So that the economic and moral ideologies of candidates and voters can be directly compared, their preferences must be assessed on the same scale. Herein lies this paper's methodological contribution. 20 question across the 2004 ANES and NPAT adequately paralleled one another so as to make candidate and citizen responses directly comparable after some coding adjustments. Factor analysis of the merged dataset allows positioning of candidate and citizen ideal points along the same dimensions, making it possible to measure a representative's ideological proximity to her constituents as opposed to their ideological correlation. Such capabilities (i) permit investigating the representativeness of legislative outcomes, and (ii) provide some means of validating the assumptions of otherwise theoretic majority rule solution concepts such as the uncovered set and strong point.
Keywords: Representation, Multi-Dimensional Voting, Economic Voting, Culture War, Congress, Elections
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation