Money or loyalty? The effect of inconsistent information shortcuts on voting defection

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Author: Jia, Xiaoyu
Despite the vast research on the effects of information shortcuts on voters, little is known about how citizens make voting decisions when the information shortcuts they rely on prod them to favor different candidates or parties. This research focuses on partisanship and economic evaluations and asks whether and how the inconsistency between them affects voting defection—the act of voting contrary to party affiliation. By analyzing the 2010 British General Election and the 2012 American Presidential Election, this paper finds that the inconsistency only leads to defection among politically sophisticated voters. And this paper argues it is because partisanship is used to reduce the uncertainty of voting decisions. As politically sophisticated voters have lower level of uncertainty, they are less likely to resort to partisanship. There are two implications of this finding: 1) relationships between information shortcuts can affect voting decisions; 2) uninformed voters sometimes do not act like they are well-informed.
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