• Created by: Roseanna
  • Created on: 31-05-11 15:23

What are the four models called which explain voting behaviour?

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Rational Choice

Party Identification


Dominant Ideology 

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What do these models explain regarding voting behaviour in the USA

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Explain the short term and long term factors which affect voting behaviour

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What are the short term factors affecting voting behaviour?

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The Economy

Record of previous administration (retrospective voting)

The Campaign

Personality of Candidate

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What are the long term factors affecting voting behaviour?

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Social Class (although not as important in USA)

Party Identification




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What other factors other than traditional long/short term have affected voting behaviour?

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Tactical/Split ticket voting


Negative voting

Abstaining from voting

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Explain the party identification model theory

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When a person has long term strong political attachment to certain party perhaps because of family ties and so is likely to vote for same party in each election regardless of policies

If more people identify with certain party then likely to stabilise election results 

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Like in the UK, party identification is declining in America. Therefore, what is the Party Identification model better suited to?

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Party Identification model is better suited to the less mobile and more stable USA of the early 20th Century - 

Linked with the New Deal Coalition- time from 1932 to late 60s when the Democratic party was majority when alignment of interest groups and voting blocs mainly voted for Democrats

With a less stable and more mobile society in the 21st Century, there has been a decline in party identification meaning there is not as much need for that model to explain voting behaviour

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What has a decline in party identification led to in America?

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Rise of split ticket voting because voters no longer feel such strong attachment to one political party and vote based on issues instead

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Stresses the importance of the media in influencing the way people vote now -  Fox News is decidedly conservative and so those who watch it are likely to be influenced to vote Republican

also stresses importance of media in determining political agenda as voters are influenced to vote based on issues that media deem important = healthcare/education/minority rights etc

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