Follow the Leader?: How Voters Respond to Politicians' Policies and Performance - Chicago Studies in American Politics (Hardback)Gabriel S. Lenz (author)
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 16/10/2012
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In a democracy, we have come to assume that people know the policies they prefer and elect like-minded officials who are responsible for carrying them out. But does this actually happen? Do citizens consider candidates' policy positions when deciding whom they'll vote for? And how do politicians' performances in office factor into the voting decision? In "Follow the Leader?", Gabriel S. Lenz sheds light on these central questions surrounding democratic thought. Lenz looks at citizens' views on 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 voters' preferences as a result of these events, he explains 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, people are often reluctant to 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 politician's policy views. Based on original 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 political campaigns.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 288
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
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