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Bandwagons and Kerry vs. Bush 2004
Unformatted Document Text:  21 more likely to support that candidate. The reverse is also true; people are less likely to report a vote intention for a candidate the previous poll had indicated is doing less well. Third, both the cognitive sophistication and the motivation of the individual matter when we estimate how opinion polls impact vote intentions. Voters must, consistent with the work of John Zaller, have the capacity and motivation to receive messages, but not be so sophisticated or anchored by other information as not be influenced by the information flow. In the case of both educational sub-groupings and the subjective expressed willingness to follow politics the middle groups are most effected by the previously released public opinion data. Given the first and second points above, it would appear that some voters during the 2004 presidential election cycle “jumped on the bandwagon”. They were more likely both be favorable towards candidates doing better in the polls and were also more likely to express a vote intention. Thus given the research framework established by Blais, Gidengil and Nevitte a contagion link was found that establishes that poll related moves such as these are of the bandwagon variety. Given the third point above it seems plausible that those voters who had the capacity and inclination to receive the campaign information flow yet were neither excessively prepared for the information flow through education, nor willing to maximize the time spent on collecting data were the ones most likely to be impacted by it. Thus it seems plausible that some in the electorate are using horserace information as a form of low cognitive effort utility maximization technique (even if they may be just getting caught up in the excitement).

Authors: Daigle, Delton.
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more likely to support that candidate. The reverse is also true; people are less likely to
report a vote intention for a candidate the previous poll had indicated is doing less well.
Third, both the cognitive sophistication and the motivation of the individual
matter when we estimate how opinion polls impact vote intentions. Voters must,
consistent with the work of John Zaller, have the capacity and motivation to receive
messages, but not be so sophisticated or anchored by other information as not be
influenced by the information flow. In the case of both educational sub-groupings and the
subjective expressed willingness to follow politics the middle groups are most effected by
the previously released public opinion data.
Given the first and second points above, it would appear that some voters during
the 2004 presidential election cycle “jumped on the bandwagon”. They were more likely
both be favorable towards candidates doing better in the polls and were also more likely
to express a vote intention. Thus given the research framework established by Blais,
Gidengil and Nevitte a contagion link was found that establishes that poll related moves
such as these are of the bandwagon variety.
Given the third point above it seems plausible that those voters who had the
capacity and inclination to receive the campaign information flow yet were neither
excessively prepared for the information flow through education, nor willing to maximize
the time spent on collecting data were the ones most likely to be impacted by it. Thus it
seems plausible that some in the electorate are using horserace information as a form of
low cognitive effort utility maximization technique (even if they may be just getting
caught up in the excitement).


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