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Probabilistic Voting and the Importance of Centrist Ideologies in Democratic Elections

James M. Enelow and Melvin J. Hinich
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 46, No. 2 (May, 1984), pp. 459-478
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2130970
Page Count: 20
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Probabilistic Voting and the Importance of Centrist Ideologies in Democratic Elections
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Abstract

This study indicates that a probabilistic voting model allowing voters to abstain from alienation or indifference leads to a transitive ordering over candidate ideologies. Further, a weighted form of the mean most preferred ideology of the voters is the optimal ideology for both candidates in a two-candidate election. Centrist ideologies are attractive to the major parties in a two-party system, and probabilistic voting provides an important part of the explanation.

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