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Campaign promises as an imperfect signal: How does an extreme candidate win against a moderate candidate?

Campaign promises as an imperfect signal: How does an extreme candidate win against a moderate... This study develops a political competition model in which campaign platforms are partially binding. A candidate who implements a policy that differs from his/her platform must pay a cost of betrayal, which increases with the size of the discrepancy. I also assume that voters are uncertain about candidates’ policy preferences. If voters believe that a candidate is likely to be extreme, there exists a semi-separating equilibrium: an extreme candidate imitates a moderate candidate, with some probability, and approaches the median policy with the remaining probability. Although an extreme candidate will implement a more extreme policy than a moderate candidate, regardless of imitation or approach, partial pooling ensures that voters prefer an extreme candidate who does not pretend to be moderate over an uncertain candidate who announces an extreme platform. As a result, a moderate candidate never has a higher probability of winning than an extreme candidate. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Theoretical Politics SAGE

Campaign promises as an imperfect signal: How does an extreme candidate win against a moderate candidate?

Journal of Theoretical Politics , Volume 27 (4): 37 – Oct 1, 2015

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References (53)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2014
ISSN
0951-6298
eISSN
1460-3667
DOI
10.1177/0951629814559724
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study develops a political competition model in which campaign platforms are partially binding. A candidate who implements a policy that differs from his/her platform must pay a cost of betrayal, which increases with the size of the discrepancy. I also assume that voters are uncertain about candidates’ policy preferences. If voters believe that a candidate is likely to be extreme, there exists a semi-separating equilibrium: an extreme candidate imitates a moderate candidate, with some probability, and approaches the median policy with the remaining probability. Although an extreme candidate will implement a more extreme policy than a moderate candidate, regardless of imitation or approach, partial pooling ensures that voters prefer an extreme candidate who does not pretend to be moderate over an uncertain candidate who announces an extreme platform. As a result, a moderate candidate never has a higher probability of winning than an extreme candidate.

Journal

Journal of Theoretical PoliticsSAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2015

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