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The Effects of Ballot Position on Election Outcomes

Jonathan Gs Koppell and Jennifer A. Steen
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 66, No. 1 (Feb., 2004), pp. 267-281
DOI: 10.1046/j.1468-2508.2004.00151.x
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1046/j.1468-2508.2004.00151.x
Page Count: 15
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The Effects of Ballot Position on Election Outcomes
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Abstract

This article presents evidence of name-order effects in balloting from a study of the 1998 Democratic primary in New York City, in which the order of candidates' names was rotated by precinct. In 71 of 79 individual nominating contests, candidates received a greater proportion of the vote when listed first than when listed in any other position. In seven of those 71 contests the advantage to first position exceeded the winner's margin of victory, suggesting that ballot position would have determined the election outcomes if one candidate had held the top spot in all precincts.

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