Article: article from journal or magazin.
Understanding Political Knowledge and Its Influence on Voting Preferences in the 2007 Federal Election
Swiss Political Science Review
In this article we propose a model to explain how voters' perceptions of their ideological proximity to a party affect their propensity to vote for that party. We argue that political knowledge plays a crucial moderating role in the relationship between party proximity and voting propensity. It is necessary, however, to distinguish between institutional knowledge (information about the political system) and party knowledge (information about the parties' left-right positions). An analysis of survey data from the 2007 Swiss federal elections supports our main hypothesis that party knowledge enhances the link between party proximity and voting propensity. Institutional knowledge may have additional influence, but clear evidence for this effect was obtained only for propensities to vote for the Swiss People's Party (SVP). Overall, the impact of political knowledge was found to be substantial, even after controlling for the outstanding influence of party identification and other predictors of voting propensities
Proximity Voting, Political Knowledge, Propensity to Vote, Elections, Switzerland
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