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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pressure Groups And Political Advertising: How Uninformed Voters Can Use Strategic Rules Of Thumb

  • Author(s): Wittman, Donald
  • et al.

This paper shows how uninformed but rational voters can respond intelligently to political advertising.

The paper models a situation where a candidate must rely on a pressure group for financing political advertising. The pressure group uses its power over the purse to influence the position chosen by the candidate. Nevertheless, when uninformed voters use a strategic rule of thumb, pressure-group contributions always move the outcome of the election closer to the median voter. By using such a rule of thumb, when there is advertising, uninformed voters can have the same influence on the election as informed voters.

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