The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns

By D. Sunshine Hillygus; Todd G. Shields | Go to book overview

Two

The Reciprocal Campaign

IN EVERY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, the media focus attention on swing voters in the electorate. Everyone wants to know who they are, what they want, and how they will make up their minds. Swing voters dictate the candidates' efforts, they provide fodder for media discussion, and they ultimately decide the election. “Mushy Swings are Wavering Election Kings,” summed up one newspaper headline.1 Political journalists and pundits variously define this group as undecided voters, political Independents, ticket splitters, ideological moderates, or more creatively, soccer moms, NASCAR dads, or some other demographic group du jour. It is commonly recognized that these swing voters are individuals who might be available to either candidate, but there are few guiding principles—and certainly no well-grounded theory— about who these voters are or what makes them persuadable. Political scientist Daron Shaw recently observed, “The concept of swing voting is something that has miraculously escaped the empirical scrutiny of scholars…. We are clearly enamored with the idea that certain voters are more persuadable and therefore disproportionately important for our understanding of close elections…. But we are not quite sure what we want to say on the matter.”2

As the title of our book implies, we offer a theoretical perspective that identifies the persuadable voters in the electorate. More broadly, though, we argue that to understand campaign dynamics it is necessary to understand the interaction between the persuadable voters and the political candidates who attempt to sway them. In this chapter, we consider the incentives, motives, and interests of both voters and candidates in a presidential campaign, outlining our theoretical expectations about the behaviors of both of these actors. We begin by explaining why cross-pressured partisans—those who disagree with their affiliated party on a policy issue—are among the persuadable voters, and then we consider the implications for candidate strategy.

1 Peter Callaghan, “Mushy Swings Are Wavering Election Kings,” The News Tribune,
12 October 2004, Bl.

2 Shaw, The Race to 270, 169–70.

-18-

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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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
The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns
Table of contents

Table of contents

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?

Help
Full screen
/ 252

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.