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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Initiatives as Running Mates: The Impact of a Candidate-Centered Initiative Campaign


This study uses actual ballots cast in the 1994 California General Election to test the following hypothesis: when voters are presented with candidates who take opposing, high-profile stances on an initiative measure, voters will link the two choices together on their ballots. The analysis shows that under such conditions, 1) a voter's initiative choice can be predicted by which of the candidates the voter chose; 2) that linkage is strong even after controlling for partisan and ideological voting patterns demonstrated throughout the ballot; 3) these linkages are relegated to the initiative which lay at the center of the candidates' debate, and to the candidates whose campaign themes had focused on the initiative question.

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