American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

Context and Congressional Elections: Assessing the Impact of Local Influences on Third Party Voting in U.S. House Elections
James P. Nelson

The attributes of districts that make voters within them more likely to select non-major party Congressional candidates were examined. The two primary explanations tested were those based on district-level support for non-major party candidates more broadly and those based on strategic voting. These attributes and their impact on voting behavior were examined using a model specification (multilevel logit) that can take into account variables measured at the district level (ie. the percentage difference between major party vote shares) and the individual level (ie. respondents’ ratings of major party candidates) and evaluate their influence on individual vote choice. Districts with higher current or most recent third party/independent presidential vote shares made voters in those districts more likely to select non-major party House candidates. Larger percentage differences between the two party vote shares of the major party House candidates had a similar impact on voters.

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