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Follow the Leader?: How Voters Respond to Politicians' Policies and Performance (Paperback)

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    Follow the Leader?: How Voters Respond to Politicians' Policies and Performance (Paperback)
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    In a democracy, we generally assume that voters know the policies they prefer and elect like-minded officials who are responsible for carrying them out. We also assume that voters consider candidates' competence, honesty, and other perform...

    Details

    ITEM#: 14180825

    In a democracy, we generally assume that voters know the policies they prefer and elect like-minded officials who are responsible for carrying them out. We also assume that voters consider candidates' competence, honesty, and other performance-related traits. But does this actually happen? Do voters consider candidatesí policy positions when deciding for whom to vote? And how do politiciansí performances in office factor into the voting decision?
    In Follow the Leader?, Gabriel S. Lenz sheds light on these central questions of democratic thought. Lenz looks at citizensí views of candidates both before and after periods of political upheaval, including campaigns, wars, natural disasters, and episodes of economic boom and bust. Noting important shifts in votersí knowledge and preferences as a result of these events, he finds that, while citizens do assess politicians based on their performance, their policy positions actually matter much less. Even when a policy issue becomes highly prominent, voters rarely shift their votes to the politician whose position best agrees with their own. In fact, Lenz shows, the reverse often takes place: citizens first pick a politician and then adopt that politicianís policy views. In other words, they follow the leader.
    Based on data drawn from multiple countries, Follow the Leader? is the most definitive treatment to date of when and why policy and performance matter at the voting booth, and it will break new ground in the debates about democracy.

    Specs

    Gabriel S. Lenz is assistant professor in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

    ISBN 9780226472140
    Author Lenz, Gabriel S.
    Genre POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections
    Format Paperback
    Pages 327
    Publisher Date 2012-08-22 00:00:00.0
    Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
    Copyright Year 2012
    Height 9.0 in
    Wdth 6.0 in
    Thickness 1.0 in
    Unit weight 1.0 lb
    Language English
    Subtitle How Voters Respond to Politicians' Policies and Performance
    Series Name Chicago Studies in American Politics
    Audience College/higher education

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