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- DescriptionIn a democracy, we have come to assume that people kw the policies they prefer and elect like-minded officials who are responsible for carrying them out. But does this actually happen? Do citizens consider candidates' policy positions when deciding whom they'll vote for? And how do politicians' performances in office factor into the voting decision? In Follow the Leader? , Gabriel S. Lenz sheds light on these central questions surrounding democratic thought. Lenz looks at citizens' views on candidates both before and after periods of political upheaval, including campaigns, wars, natural disasters, and episodes of ecomic boom and bust. Noting important shifts in voters' preferences as a result of these events, he explains that, while citizens do assess politicians based on their performance, their policy positions actually matter much less. Even when a policy issue becomes highly prominent, people are often reluctant to shift their votes to the politician whose position best agrees with their own. In fact, Lenz shows, the reverse often takes place: citizens first pick a politician and then adopt that politician's policy views. Based on original data drawn from multiple countries, Follow the Leader? is the most definitive treatment to date of when and why policy and performance matter at the voting booth, and it will break new ground in the debates about political campaigns.
- Author BiographyGabriel S. Lenz is assistant professor in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
- Author(s)Gabriel S. Lenz
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication09/10/2012
- SubjectGovernment & Constitution
- Series TitleChicago Studies in American Politics
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content Note2 halftones, 64 line drawings, 25 tables
- Weight454 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine23 mm
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