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Improving Public Opinion SurveysInterdisciplinary Innovation and the American National Election Studies$
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John H. Aldrich and Kathleen M. McGraw

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151458

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151458.001.0001

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Sociotropic Voting and the Media

Sociotropic Voting and the Media

(p.175) Chapter 11 Sociotropic Voting and the Media
Improving Public Opinion Surveys

Stephen Ansolabehere

Marc Meredith

Erik Snowberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the accuracy of citizens' estimates of facts about the general state of the economy and on the consequences of that information. It analyzes both the determinants and political consequences of respondents' perceptions of the average price of gas and the unemployment rate in their home states. The chapter finds that individuals overestimate the unemployment rate and that substantial partisan differences also exist. In contrast, estimates of gas prices are on average reasonably accurate, with no partisan differences. These analyses also suggest that perceptions of unemployment, but not of gas prices, are implicated in changes in partisan identification.

Keywords:   gas prices, unemployment rates, partisan identification, economy, vote choices, personal economic experiences, partisan preferences

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