Strategic Voting in the US
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1Because of its dominant two-party system, America is often seen as a prime example of a Duvergerian equilibrium. Indeed, as the editors of this volume note in their Introduction, it may be the only example available without significant caveats or qualifications. To researchers seeking to understand the “psychological effects” behind Duverger's law (1954) that link electoral systems to party systems through the strategic behavior of voters, the USA seems to provide little data to analyze (Benoit 2006; Cox 1997). Faced with only two parties to choose from, the act of voting appears simpler and more sincere than in other democracies. Since the effects underlying Duverger's law have already unfolded and led to two-party dominance, surely the USA can tell us little about the psychological effects of electoral systems and their accompanying behavior, strategic voting. We contend that this conventional wisdom is in need of modification.
We agree with existing scholarship that views the USA...