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      How Parties React to Voter Transitions

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      American Political Science Review

      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          This letter investigates how voter transitions between parties affect parties’ policy positioning. While a growing literature investigates the role of election results as signals for parties’ policy adaption, it has mostly focused on vote changes of individual parties. However, parties do not know only whether they have won or lost in an election; they also have detailed information on which parties they won votes from and which parties they lost votes to. We make two arguments about how voter transitions should affect the strategic policy choices of political parties. First, when a party has lost votes to another party it will adapt its policy positions toward that party. Second, parties that have overall lost more votes become more likely to adapt their positions. Making use of a data set on individual voter transitions and party positions we can demonstrate that voter transitions indeed affect parties’ competitive behavior.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Scaling Policy Preferences from Coded Political Texts

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            A New Spatial Theory of Party Competition: Uncertainty, Ideology and Policy Equilibria Viewed Comparatively and Temporally

             Ian Budge (1994)
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              Mean voter representation and partisan constituency representation: Do parties respond to the mean voter position or to their supporters?

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                American Political Science Review
                Am Polit Sci Rev
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0003-0554
                1537-5943
                August 2020
                April 23 2020
                August 2020
                : 114
                : 3
                : 940-945
                Article
                10.1017/S0003055420000155
                © 2020

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