When Voters Care About What They Don't Care

Speaker: Francesco Raffaelli & Luis Cornago Bonal

University of Oxford

This event is part of the Centre for Experimental Social Sciences Colloquium series.


Political science literature has documented that the electoral behaviour of voters with opposing preferences across dimensions (i.e., culturally progressive and economically conservative, or vice versa) is highly dependent on the importance they attach to each dimension. This study aims to expand our knowledge of this phenomenon in two ways. First, it explores the degree of separability of voters’ preferences, understanding to which extent individuals are willing to turn a blind eye to the less important dimension – especially when their position contrasts significantly with that of their preferred party or candidate. Second, this work analyses whether candidates’ personal and demographic traits – particularly, occupation, ethnicity, and sexual orientation – help break this spatial logic, inducing voters to better tolerate policy disagreements with their preferred party/candidate.

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