The Mouse that Roared:The Impact of Candidate Name Order on Election Outcomes (especially in 2016!)
Department:Princeton Survey Research Center
Audience:Open to the Public
This Event is cosponsored by PSRC Princeton Survey Research Center and CSDP Center for the Study of Democratic Politics.
Many possible explanations for Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral victory have been put on the table, and this talk will offer another, involving the placement of his name on ballots in battleground states. Professor Krosnick will offer a theory of why the order of candidate names on ballots might influence voters’ behavior and will review the body of studies that have explored this issue. Some such studies suggest name order effects are real, whereas other studies question their reality or pervasiveness. And some questions have been raised about optimal ways to conduct statistical tests of name order effects. Spotlighted in this talk will be reanalysis of older data and analysis of newly collected data to shed light on the conditions under which name order effects occur, their magnitude, whether different research methods lead to different conclusions, and whether the States should reform their ballot design practices to make elections more fair. All this casts interesting light not only on the presidential election of 2016 but also the election of 2000 and others as well.