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Crowded Out: The Effects of Concurrent Elections on Political Engagement, Candidate Evaluation, and Campaign Learning in the United States

Andersen, David

Crowded Out: The Effects of Concurrent Elections on Political Engagement, Candidate Evaluation, and Campaign Learning in the United States Thumbnail


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Abstract

Holding multiple elections simultaneously, also known as concurrent elections, is well known to benefit electoral systems by increasing the rate of voter turnout. Essentially, the public becomes more willing to participate in voting because they can vote for more offices, and more prominent offices, at once and thus have a greater influence upon the functioning of government in a more efficient manner. However, very little is known about what happens with the electorate outside of the simple increase in voting. Just because citizens choose to vote, it does not mean that they actually pay attention to all the campaigns or feel that their participation is valuable. Using 20 years of American National Election Study survey data, and focusing primarily on the relatively low-salience House of Representatives, this paper examines the psychological effects of concurrent elections in the United States. It concludes that, while concurrent elections do boost turnout, lower-salience candidates receive less attention during concurrent elections, leading the public to rate them more negatively and know less about them. Higher-salience office candidates avoid these negative consequences. Thus there is a trade-off with concurrent elections – more people tend to vote when multiple offices are contested simultaneously but those voters also tend to focus on the higher offices and ignore the bottom of the ballot.

Citation

Andersen, D. (2023). Crowded Out: The Effects of Concurrent Elections on Political Engagement, Candidate Evaluation, and Campaign Learning in the United States. Representation: Journal of Representative Democracy, https://doi.org/10.1080/00344893.2023.2261450

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 18, 2023
Online Publication Date Sep 27, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Oct 4, 2023
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2023
Journal Representation
Print ISSN 0034-4893
Electronic ISSN 1749-4001
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00344893.2023.2261450
Keywords Sociology and Political Science
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1756692

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Published Journal Article (Advance Online Version) (1.8 Mb)
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Licence
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Copyright Statement
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.





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