The Role of the Information Environment in Partisan Voting

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Authors Erik M. Peterson
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Voters are often highly dependent on partisanship to structure their preferences toward political candidates and policy proposals. What conditions enable partisan cues to “dominate” public opinion? Here I theorize that variation in voters’ reliance on partisanship results, in part, from the opportunities their environment provides to learn about politics. A conjoint experiment and an observational study of voting in congressional elections both support the expectation that more detailed information environments reduce the role of partisanship in candidate choice. These findings clarify previously unexplained cross-study variation in party cue effects. They also challenge competing claims that partisan cues inhibit responsiveness to such a degree that voters fail to use other information or that high-information environments increase voter reliance on partisanship.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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