The American Politics Workshop
Data Science Scholar, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
“What Politicians Believe About Electoral Accountability“
Prominent theories of representation argue that the threat of losing renomination or re-election (‘electoral control’) is a primary driver of politicians’ decisions in office and in their campaigns. However, little direct evidence has examined politicians’ perceptions of factors relevant to their re-election prospects, such as which citizens are most likely to vote and who might run against them in the future. Drawing on thousands of survey responses from candidates running for state legislative offices in 2014 and 2016, I investigate these perceptions directly. The findings suggest that there are asymmetries in how politicians of each party perceive their electoral environments. While some turnout gaps do exist by party and ideology among the mass public, my findings suggest that politicians of both parties overestimate the magnitude of these gaps. These misperceptions accord with candidates’ tendency to overestimate public support for conservative policies in their districts.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2018
12:00 – 1:20 pm
**Lunch will be served**
Location: Pick Hall, First Floor Lounge, 5828 S. University Ave.
To join the workshop email list visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/americanpolitics. Individuals with disabilities or those who require special accommodations should contact the coordinators, Jenn M. Jackson (email@example.com) and Scott Cooley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additional information about the American Politics Workshop can be found on our website: https://voices.uchicago.edu/americanpol/.