It Feels Like We're Thinking: The Rationalizing Voter and Electoral Democracy
Abstract The familiar image of rational electoral choice has voters weighing,the com- peting candidates’strengths and weaknesses, calculating comparative dis- tances in issue space, and assessing the president’s management of foreign a¤airs and the national economy. Indeed, once or twice in a lifetime, a national or personal crisis does induce political thought.,But most,of the time, the voters adopt issue positions, adjust their candidate perceptions, and invent facts to rationalize decisions they have already made.,The im- plications of this distinction— between,genuine,thinking and its day–to–day counterfeit— strike at the roots of both positive and normative,theories of electoral democracy. The primary,use of party is to create public opinion. — Philip C. Friese (1856, 7) Cognitive Consistency, Partisan Inference, and Is-
Published in 2009.