Do Citizens use Sociodemographic Characteristics as Cues to Infer Candidate Issue Positions?

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2021
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Swiss Political Science Review. Wiley. 2021, 27(4), pp. 731-753. ISSN 1424-7755. eISSN 1662-6370. Available under: doi: 10.1111/spsr.12493
Zusammenfassung

In open-list proportional representation systems, choosing candidates based on issue proximity can improve policy congruence. However, in practice, voters may not know enough about individual candidates to do so. Hence, we examine whether voters infer individual positions from cues provided on ballots, namely age and residence. Studying the Swiss parliamentary elections of 2019, we focus on environmental policy, both a very salient issue and featuring considerable intra-party heterogeneity of positions. We combine comprehensive candidate data with a representative voter survey and conduct a survey-embedded experiment (N = 10,758). We find that citizens have indeed little knowledge of candidate positions. However, ballot cues predict policy differences among candidates within parties only to a limited extent, and the experiment does not suggest that voters use ballot information to predict positions directly. Instead, as suggested by additional analyses, citizens may perceive candidates who resemble their own sociodemographic profile as having positions closer to their own.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
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320 Politik
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cues, environmental policy, heuristics, open-list PR, political knowledge, survey experiment
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Zitieren
ISO 690DÄUBLER, Thomas, Franziska QUOSS, Lukas RUDOLPH, 2021. Do Citizens use Sociodemographic Characteristics as Cues to Infer Candidate Issue Positions?. In: Swiss Political Science Review. Wiley. 2021, 27(4), pp. 731-753. ISSN 1424-7755. eISSN 1662-6370. Available under: doi: 10.1111/spsr.12493
BibTex
@article{Daubler2021Citiz-66578,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1111/spsr.12493},
  title={Do Citizens use Sociodemographic Characteristics as Cues to Infer Candidate Issue Positions?},
  number={4},
  volume={27},
  issn={1424-7755},
  journal={Swiss Political Science Review},
  pages={731--753},
  author={Däubler, Thomas and Quoß, Franziska and Rudolph, Lukas}
}
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