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Ambiguity in the Issue Positions of Presidential Candidates: A Causal Analysis

James E. Campbell
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 27, No. 2 (May, 1983), pp. 284-293
DOI: 10.2307/2111018
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111018
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ambiguity in the Issue Positions of Presidential Candidates: A Causal Analysis
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Abstract

This study investigated the causes of ambiguity in the issue positions of presidential candidates from 1968 to 1980. Three potential causes suggested by the research of Shepsle (1972) and Page (1976, 1978) were examined: issue salience, opinion dispersion, and issue proximity. Salience was found not to have a direct effect on ambiguity, but a slight, negative indirect effect. Opinion dispersion had a significant positive effect, and proximity had about an equally strong negative direct effect on ambiguity.

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