Causes of Split Ticket Voting

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  • Causes of Split Ticket Voting
    • The incumbency factor
      • This is where 'pork barreling' incumbents are likely to be reelected regardless of votes for other offices
        • In 2012 Florida voters elected Democrats to federal government and Republicans to state legislatures
    • Balancing theory
      • Voters find all parties to be too extreme so the split their ticket to create a balanced ideological government
        • In 1988 Dukakis and Bush were seen as quite extreme in ideology and 25% split their tickets
    • Partisan dealignment
      • Voters choose candidates rather than parties so this results in split ticket voting
        • In 1980 28% of voters split, this could have been because of the appeal of Reagan to all voters
    • Cognitive Madisonianism
      • Voters want different parties in power to encourage checks and balances and limited government
        • This may have happened in 1972 when 30% of voters split
    • Separation theory
      • Voters see the parties as having different strengths and weaknesses and balance these out with a split ticket
        • The Democrats were elected in 1976 as a 'tax and spend party' for president, but 25% split their tickets to support low lax Republicans
        • This also occurred in 2012 when Democrats were wanted for welfare merits and Republicans wanted the cost of government to be low

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