Voter Uncertainty Can Produce Preferences with More Than One Peak, but Not Preference Cycles: A Clue to the Fate of Ross Perot?
Article first published online: 13 APR 2005
Journal of Politics
Volume 67, Issue 2, pages 429–453, May 2005
How to Cite
Potthoff, R. F. and Munger, M. C. (2005), Voter Uncertainty Can Produce Preferences with More Than One Peak, but Not Preference Cycles: A Clue to the Fate of Ross Perot?. Journal of Politics, 67: 429–453. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2508.2005.00290.x
- Issue published online: 13 APR 2005
- Article first published online: 13 APR 2005
- Manuscript submitted September 6, 2002 Final manuscript received January 20, 2004
The one-dimensional Downsian spatial model entails single-peaked preferences for each voter. Consequently, the preference ranking of the electorate as a whole is also single-peaked, and Condorcet cycles in the preferences of the electorate are not possible. Our main theoretical results herein are that, if the model is generalized to allow for voter uncertainty about candidates’ positions, then single-peakedness no longer exists invariably, either for individual voters or for the electorate as a whole. However, cyclical preference majorities remain impossible. We examine how well the generalized model may fit preference and variability data from the 1992 United States Presidential election.