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Persuasive PeersSocial Communication and Voting in Latin America$
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Andy Baker, Barry Ames, and Lúcio Rennó

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691205779

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691205779.001.0001

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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: 17 September 2021

Discussion Networks, Campaign Effects, and Vote Choice

Discussion Networks, Campaign Effects, and Vote Choice

Chapter:
(p.94) 4 Discussion Networks, Campaign Effects, and Vote Choice
Source:
Persuasive Peers
Author(s):

Andy Baker

Barry Ames

Lúcio Rennó

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691205779.003.0004

This chapter demonstrates that the dynamics of vote choice described in the previous chapter are caused by the discussion and social ties described in Chapter 2. During campaigns, discussion with disagreeing partners tends to induce preference change in voters, while discussion only with agreeing partners reinforces vote intentions, causing preference stability. The chapter illustrates this relationship at multiple levels of analysis, estimating relationships in the Brazilian and Mexican panel surveys in ways that address threats to causal inference. Quotations from the qualitative data also reveal social influence in action, showing vividly that many voters defer to their more politically knowledgeable social ties. In short, the votes cast on election day in Brazil and Mexico are socially informed. The chapter also shows that the social influences that occur during campaigns determine who wins elections. Candidates whose mid-campaign supporters encounter high rates of disagreement from social ties struggle to hold on to these voters through election day. These voters' preferences are less reinforced in conversation, so many switch to different candidates. The candidate they previously supported collapses in the polls.

Keywords:   vote choice, social ties, political discussion, social influence, election campaigns, preference change, Brazil, Mexico

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