Public Choice

, Volume 148, Issue 1–2, pp 87–104 | Cite as

Securing the base: electoral competition under variable turnout

  • Michael Peress


I evaluate the ‘Securing the Base’ strategy, which prescribes that candidates position themselves away from the political center in order to maximize turnout among their supporters and reduce defections of their supporters to third party candidates. My results support the notion that voters abstain due to indifference and imply that candidate positioning has a large effect on voter turnout and third party voting. Nonetheless, my results indicate that the candidates can best compete by adopting centrist positions. While a candidate can increase turnout among his supporters by moving away from the center, many moderate voters will defect to his opponent.


Spatial competition Abstention 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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