The Median Voter Essay

1027 words - 4 pages

In many recent elections candidates of the major parties have been converging to the median voter in order to obtain more votes. These means that the candidates are beginning to move to the left or right on their political views to appeal to more of the voting population. This way the candidate will achieve more votes even though he or her has to change their position on certain issues in there campaign. The theorem implies that purely office-seeking candidates try to maximize their vote by adopting ideological positions to get as many voters as possible. (Morton p.93) In our two-person general election for president in November, the candidates should "converge" on the median voter position.In the upcoming election voters will have to choice between the two candidates on Election Day. The theorem suggests that the vote will be most likely to vote for the candidate that is closer on the political spectrum. If two candidates are competing for an office, if they care only about winning, if voters have preferences shaped, the candidate will choose policy position equal to the median voter's ideal point. A candidate can see the importance of moving closer to middle ground with the mass of voters he doesn't appeal to. Morton 4 notes the increasing ideological distance of Republican from Democratic candidates. Since the ideological distance between the two it makes its hard to decipher where the median vote lies. This make it difficult for the candidate to decide where to sway their polices' to get more potential votes. First, they're not really sure where that median voter position is. Also all the voters don't know where the median is. (Renka Forum) This is because the median voter are also based on specifics of the voter such as age, gender, and ideology.(Congleton) Although this can cause a problem if the candidate moves too far to reach out to the median causing him to lose votes on the far side of his political party.Morton 4 distinguishes between "sincere voting" (vote according to one's true ideological preferences), and "sophisticated voting. These means that a person will vote with candidate that are closer to them on issues such as gun control or abortion. These issues are most important to the voter so they will be very decisive in their vote. While with sophisticated voting a voter would be more likely to vote for the person that is in a better position to win. Or vote for the person who is the leaser of the two evils. Our in class presentation by Debra Hozlhoer stated that he husband on election didn't vote for the two major parties but for Ralph Nader not because he liked him but as a strategy to take votes away from the republican candidate. These way he is voting and is making his vote count even though his candidate has no chance of willing. By using strategic voting, if enough votes were stolen from the republican candidate could lead to the democratic winning the election. Even though he did not receive more of the median votes, they...

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