Centrist by Comparison: Extremism and the Expansion of the Political Spectrum

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Authors Gábor Simonovits
Journal/Conference Name POLITICAL BEHAVIOR
Paper Category
Paper Abstract While it is well understood that policy suggestions outside the range of mainstream debate are prevalent in various policy domains of American politics, their effects remain unexplored. In this paper, we suggest that proposing policies far from the political mainstream can re-structure voter perceptions of where alternatives lie in the ideological space. We provide support for this hypothesis using results from six survey experiments. We find that the introduction of extreme alternatives into the public discourse makes mainstream policies on the same side of the spectrum look more centrist in the public eye, thus increasing support for these moderate alternatives.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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