Valence uncertainty and the nature of the candidate pool in elections
Livio Di Lonardo
Journal of Theoretical Politics, 2017, vol. 29, issue 2, 327-350
Political parties in US politics are becoming increasingly polarized, with a growing number of extreme candidates entering electoral races. Why would extremists challenge more moderate opponents, since their chances of winning are supposedly very slim? I develop a model of electoral competition and endogenous entry to show that extremists rely on the possibility that the campaign might reveal information about the opponentsâ€™ quality that can induce some voters to change their electoral decision. The weight voters place on candidatesâ€™ valence determines the incidence of uncontested elections and the degree of asymmetry in polarization of the candidatesâ€™ policy positions in contested elections. Finally, I extend the model to consider asymmetric information about individual valence levels. I show that uncontested races are still possible in equilibrium, that in contested races at least one candidate has high valence, and the valence-advantaged candidate can be the one with the more extreme policy stance.
Keywords: Citizen candidates; elections; entry; extremism; valence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:29:y:2017:i:2:p:327-350
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