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Economics, Issues and the Perot Candidacy: Voter Choice in the 1992 Presidential Election

R. Michael Alvarez and Jonathan Nagler
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 39, No. 3 (Aug., 1995), pp. 714-744
DOI: 10.2307/2111651
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111651
Page Count: 31
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Economics, Issues and the Perot Candidacy: Voter Choice in the 1992 Presidential Election
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Abstract

Theories of presidential elections (economic voting and spatial issue and ideology models), combined with the popular explanation of "angry voting," are used to account for voter choice in the 1992 presidential election. Voter choice in this three-candidate race is a function of economic perceptions, issue and ideological positions of voters and candidates, or voter anger. Multinomial probit analysis of 1992 National Election Studies data including individual-specific and alternative-specific variables. Simulations based on counterfactual scenarios of ideological positions of the candidates and of voter perceptions of the economy. The economy was the dominant factor in accounting for voter decisions in 1992, and Clinton, not Perot, was the beneficiary of economic discontent. While issues (mainly abortion) and ideology did play some role, Clinton was not perceived by the electorate as a New Democrat. We find little support for the hypothesis of angry voting. Last, Perot took more votes from Bush than from Clinton.

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