|That's the Ticket: Straight Ticket Voting in State Legislative Elections (Draft)|
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Straight ticket voting (sometimes called straight party voting) allows voters to select all candidates from a single party for all contests on the ballot. Voters split their tickets consistently from the 1950s to the 2000s, yet a wave of political polarization beginning in the 2000s increased the frequency of straight ticket voting as a convenience for party-driven voters. Recent trends in state voting laws have moved away from allowing voters to vote straight ticket as several states have abolished the practice. This article tests the effect on turnout overall and for both parties when a state removes the straight ticket voting in state legislative elections. The loss of straight ticket voting affects both parties by reducing overall vote share but affects Democratic house candidates more who typically BENEFITED from the availability of straight ticket voting. Implications of these changes in ballots mean more divided government and a lessened incumbency advantage in state legislatures.
-> Removing the method as an option will reduce vote share for both parties but especially for Democratic candidates for lower chamber legislative seats (~2,000 votes in a midterm or ~5,000 in a presidential contest).” Democratic candidates lose about 2-3% in both State House and Senate contests.
How do citizens respond to domestic uses of political force? Virtually all of the literature on “rally around the flag” effects focus on international events, yet we know surprisingly little about the degree to which conditions affecting international rally events hold when the president uses force domestically. In this article, we explore unique panel data charting opinion change from before and after the 1993 incident in Waco, Texas involving the Branch Dividians and agents of the United States Government where four federal officers and seventy-five civilians lost their lives. We find, contrasting previous work, no significant aggregate “rally” in President Clinton’s aggregate approval ratings. Yet, confirming previous work, we do find individual level turnover between time one and time two consistent with theoretical expectations and past work. Implications for presidential use of force and public opinion are discussed.
How Helpful are County Election Websites? A Report from the UH Election Lab
Voter confusion and concern is spiking as Texans vote in a high stakes election in the middle of a pandemic with big ballot changes (no straight ticket voting). Clarity concerning how to vote, where to vote, the process for voting, safety protocols, and what we are voting on is critical. County officials determine much of what voters experience in the election process, both before and during the voting process. In an analysis of Texas’ 254 county election websites, we found many did not provide key details about the process or access for prospective voters.