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Keywords:

  • campaigns; elections; presidents; third parties

The conventional wisdom among students of elections is that the choices of voters are largely driven by powelforces that have lasting effects from one election to the next-enduring political orientations and retrospective judgments about economic performance. The authors’article revises this account by suggesting that scholars have been looking in the wrong place campaign effects. Based on analyses of the 1992, 1996, and 2000 presidential elections, it largely confirms the constraining effects of enduring electoral forces on Democratic and Republican campaigns butsugests that the personality traits of thirdparty candidates do exert signGcant iniuence on voters.