Nominating Presidents: An Evaluation of Voters and Primaries

By John G. Geer | Go to book overview

choosing candidates unable to compete successfully in November. Table 4.5 presents data concerning the proportion of voters who are aware of the chances of their party's contenders to win both the nomination and general election.

As the table shows, when two candidates compete, voters generally have some idea of the chances of the contenders seeking their party's nomination. In Los Angeles ( 1976), over 95 percent of Republican identifiers were willing to estimate both Reagan's and Ford's chances for the nomination and general election. In a four-candidate race, over 80 percent of voters in Erie ( 1976) estimated at least two of the four contenders' chances for the nomination, and 32.2 percent estimated the chances of all four candidates. By the time of the California primary, over 40 percent of voters estimated the chances of all the remaining Democratic contenders. This slight increase is probably due to the additional opportunities voters in California had to learn about the candidates' chances. In 1988, about 65 percent of Republican voters assessed the prospects of the four major contenders for the nomination. Only 2 percent had no guesses on any of the four contenders. In the Democratic camp, 82.2 percent knew two of the four contenders' chances for the nomination.

Interestingly, these estimates of the candidates' chances were reasonably accurate. By the time of the 1976 California primary, the vast majority of voters saw Carter as the likely nominee, with a few respondents holding out hope for Jerry Brown.5 In 1988, voters saw Bush as the favorite for the nomination with Dole a close second. Robertson was not seen as a likely winner of either the nomination or the general election. While there was more uncertainty on the Democratic side, Dukakis was viewed as the favorite by voters prior to Super Tuesday. Jackson, as one might expect, was viewed as unlikely to win the general election or the nomination. Most pundits held similar views of the 1976 and 1988 contests, suggesting that voters in primaries may be able to estimate with some accuracy the relative chances of the contenders.


CONCLUSION

The evidence presented in this chapter has a number of implications. First, when voters in primaries are faced with a choice between two candidates, they appear as informed as are voters in general elections. While this finding does not necessarily mean that voters in primaries are well enough informed to make good choices, it does suggest that they may be able to do as good a job of selecting a candidate as are voters in general elections. The second and probably more important implication is that as the number of competing candidates increases, the more likely it is that voters will be unfamiliar with all the possible choices facing them. Consequently, in the earlier primaries when there can be a large

-57-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Nominating Presidents: An Evaluation of Voters and Primaries
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 11
  • 2 - The Representativeness of Voters in Presidential Primaries 15
  • 3 - Participation in Presidential Primaries 31
  • 4 - Information and Voters Presidential Primaries 45
  • 4 Information and Voters Presidential Primaries 57
  • 5 - Voting in Presidential Primaries 63
  • Notes 84
  • 6 - The Media and Voters in Presidential Primaries 89
  • Notes 103
  • 7 - A Few Rules of the Game 105
  • Conclusion 120
  • Notes 120
  • 8 - A Proposal for Reform 125
  • Notes 136
  • Appendix I Definition of Variables Used in Explaining Turnout 139
  • Appendix II Description of Survey Questions 141
  • Appendix III The Coding of the Open-Ended Comments 145
  • Bibliography 147
  • Index 155
  • About the Author 161
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 166

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.