AUTHORS' NOTE: We would like to thank Herbert Weisberg, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Michael Colaresi, William Crotty, Evan Parker-Stephen, Arthur Sanders, Wayne Steger and participants at presentations at Michigan State University and Texas A&M University for their helpful comments and suggestions on previous versions of this work. We would also like to thank various members of PRISM and PRL at Ohio State University for encouragement and computer support.
Polls and Elections: Still Part of the Conversation: Iowa and New Hampshire's Say within the Invisible Primary
Article first published online: 19 JUL 2012
© 2012 Center for the Study of the Presidency
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 597–621, September 2012
How to Cite
CHRISTENSON, D. P. and SMIDT, C. D. (2012), Polls and Elections: Still Part of the Conversation: Iowa and New Hampshire's Say within the Invisible Primary . Presidential Studies Quarterly, 42: 597–621. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2012.03994.x
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 19 JUL 2012
We propose that the extant literature has underestimated the central roles of Iowa and New Hampshire within the invisible primary and, thus, party nominations. Since candidates and the news media focus disproportionately on these states early in the nomination season, impressions of candidate performance within these states have a disproportionate influence on the invisible primary long before their actual outcomes are observed. Using a Bayesian vector autoregression we find that polls within Iowa and New Hampshire have a more consistent influence on candidates' levels of national news media coverage and national polling than vice versa. We also find that campaign contributions are as responsive to early state polls as they are to national forces or campaign activities. Although these findings do not dispute that candidates need a broad basis of national support to win a party's nomination, they explain why candidates continue to campaign early and intensely in these first-in-the-nation contests.