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Facing the Challenge of DemocracyExplorations in the Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Participation$
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Paul M. Sniderman and Benjamin Highton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151106.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Who Really Votes?

Who Really Votes?

(p.267) XI Who Really Votes?
Facing the Challenge of Democracy

Stephen Ansolabehere

Eitan Hersh

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers how voters are different from nonvoters with respect to their demographic and ideological attributes, and if election outcomes would change if everyone voted. It first explains why vote misreporting presents a problem for studies of participatory bias. Then, the chapter introduces the vote validation study conducted as part of the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). It then compares voters to nonvoters along key demographic and attitudinal variables, using both CCES and ANES data. Here, the chapter shows how misreporting exaggerates the differences between voters and nonvoters, and it also addresses the problem with bias ratio measures. Finally, this chapter simulates higher voter turnout and shows that if more people voted, election results would hardly be affected at all.

Keywords:   Who Votes, votes, nonvoters, election outcomes, vote misreporting, vote validation study, participatory bias

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