Strategic Voting (AUTNES)
This project studies strategic voting in parliamentary democracies by making use of the exceptional opportunity of the integrated design AUTNES provides. First, this project seeks to clarify the role of coalition preferences as opposed to party preferences in an individual’s decision-making process. This project will for the first time use response-latency measures to investigate the primacy of coalitions as opposed to parties as evaluative objects in an individual’s decision-making process. Second, the literature on strategic voting is rather agnostic concerning how preferences should be conceptualized. Some argue that preferences that determine strategic behavior at the ballot box are driven by affective reactions to parties or coalitions. Others argue that preferences are derived from policy considerations. Both alternatives might lead to different predictions of how voters decide in the voting booth. The Demand Side of AUTNES provides new measures that help to disentangle these two alternatives. Third, this project seeks to clarify the importance of voters’ expectations in conditioning their voting behavior. Strategic voting assumes that voters form expectations about the outcome of the election independent of their preferences. Nevertheless, expectations could simply be a function of an individual’s preference. As a strong test to what degree such expectations are exogenous to preferences, we measure the electoral consequences of changing expectations over the course of a campaign. Short of a multi-wave panel study, the AUTNES rolling-cross-section design is ideal for getting around several endogeneity issues. Generally, AUTNES offers a comparative perspective for several other MZES projects working with GLES data because the survey data is very similar.