Voting Analysis

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Analysis Paper 4
This week’s readings presented analysis, evaluations, and critiques of retrospective voting, an alternative theory of democracy which suggests that voters can “exert control over their leaders by assessing the performance of incumbent officials, rewarding success and punishing failure” (Achen and Bartels, 91). Achen and Bartels argue against the theory of retrospective accountability (voting), supported by some scholars because it fundamentally underestimates the limitations of voters to accurately assess changes in their own welfare and the limitations of democratic accountability (145). However, Achen and Bartels do not suggest that the theory should be dismissed entirely. This paper will analyze the critiques presented
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The piece by Fiorina studied the relationship between presidential and congressional vote shares and the perceived economic conditions of voters. In his piece, Fiorina aimed to answer the following question: do citizens vote for or against the incumbent president’s party as a function of their personal economic condition? He evaluated the answer to this question by reviewing election survey responses conducted by the University of Michigan concerning the presidential elections between 1956 and 1974. He found that found that there is probably some support for economic retrospective voting in presidential elections, but little to no support in congressional elections. However, Fiorina cautions the reader from dismissing the idea that retrospective voting is a major factor in congressional elections because there are “other issues in the world besides the economy” and “voters might be “reacting to these when they cast their congressional vote” (Fiorina, 440). This then begs the following question posited by Fiorina: why do voters hold the congressmen of the presidential party more responsible for some…show more content…
al. analyzed the effect, if any, that information irrelevant to government performance has on voting behavior. They used local sports outcomes, college football and basketball games in order to determine any possible influence, the emotions the electorate felt in response to the random and unexpected outcomes of these games would have on the electoral prospects on the incumbent party. Additionally, they measured the affect that college basketball game outcomes had on the job approval of President Obama. From their results of both experiments they, determined that voting decision are influences by irrelevant events that have nothing to do with the competence effectiveness of the incumbent
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