INTERPRETING ELECTIONS by STANLEY KELLEY

By STANLEY KELLEY

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368-369). A THEORY OF VOTING 24 vance could fabricate misleading or rationalized motives so consistent in detail with the preferences and behavior that they report. APPLICATIONS In what is to come, my prime objective is to demonstrate the usefulness of the theory just discussed for the interpretation of elections. The next chapter, in which I assess the decisiveness of the elections of 1964 and 1972, is the first step in that dem­ onstration. In my analysis of decisiveness, and in other appli­ cations as well, the net scores to which I have already referred figure prominently.

These analyses will be easier to un­ derstand and to evaluate if they are prefaced by a discussion of some issues of method. For that reason I shall note in this chapter some features of the data I have drawn upon and in­ troduce some concepts that are helpful in thinking about the relationship between the decisions of individual voteis, on the one hand, and the decisions of the electorate as a whole, on the other. DATA As I have noted already, I identify the considerations that en­ tered into voting in 1964 and 1972 with the likes and dislikes that voters expressed in answering eight free-answer questions 44 ISSUES AND OUTCOMES put to them by interviewers of the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center.

C. G. Hempel. Aspects of Scien­ tific Explanation (New York: The Free Press, 1965), p. 234. 14 A THEORY OF VOTING but one can easily see why many voters might tend to follow such a procedure much of the time. Consider, first, the kinds of things—the honesty of candidates or their stands on issues of policy—that figure as considerations in voting. While it is extremely hard to assign a precise importance to such matters in utiles or in any other unit of measurement, the mind can construct a set of considerations that strike us as roughly com­ parable.

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