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Citizens, Context, and ChoiceHow Context Shapes Citizens' Electoral Choices$
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Russell J. Dalton and Christopher J. Anderson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599233.001.0001

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Follow the Party or Follow the Leader? Candidate Evaluations, Party Evaluations, and Macropolitical Context

Follow the Party or Follow the Leader? Candidate Evaluations, Party Evaluations, and Macropolitical Context

Chapter:
(p.126) 6 Follow the Party or Follow the Leader? Candidate Evaluations, Party Evaluations, and Macropolitical Context
Source:
Citizens, Context, and Choice
Author(s):

Yuliya V. Tverdova

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599233.003.0006

The Michigan model of voting contends that candidate images may influence individual voting behavior. Yet scholarly research has produced mixed results regarding the relative strength of party-based versus candidate-based voting. The present chapter seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate about the personalization of politics as well as the modern role of political parties for electoral behavior in a cross-national setting. Using a methodologically innovative two-step approach to analyzing multilevel data, the chapter looks at how individuals' feelings of representation by political parties and leaders affect their vote choices. The first step involves a regression analysis of 189 vote choice models across thirty-three nations in thirty-five elections. The subsequent step combines the estimates from the first step with party- and system-specific measure for the assessment of contextual effects on the strength of party-based and candidate-based voting. Overall, the results of the analysis confirm that both party and candidate images are important for individual vote choices. Furthermore, the relative strength of party-based and candidate-based voting is in part determined by the macropolitical context.

Keywords:   voting behavior, candidates, leaders, representation, personalization, electoral supply, CSES, two-step analysis

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