Voter Behavior



There are many factors that influence voter behavior. So first we’re going to take a look at reasons for political involvement. Or in other words, what influences people to be involved in the political process. This includes voting, making political contributions to campaigns or actually volunteering on a political campaign. So one factor is income level. If someone has a high income level, it’s very likely they’re going to be politically involved. If someone has a high knowledge of government, they’re likely to be involved. If someone has a desire to make a difference, they’re probably going to see political involvement as a way to make an impact. And then tradition also plays a role. Specifically, a person’s family. So if someone’s family was never politically active, that person is probably not going to be politically active either. But if a person’s parents always voted, well that person is going to always vote as well because they feel like that’s a normal thing to do and what they saw their parents doing. And civic duty also plays a role. There’s some people who go and vote who don’t necessarily feel like they making impact or have a high knowledge of government but they feel like it’s the responsibility of citizens to go and vote. Now, what influences people’s behavior as a voter? One factor is family. Like I said earlier, family plays a huge impact on someone politically. If someone’s family holds liberal views, they’re likely to be liberal. If one’s family is conservative, they’re likely to be conservative. Some other factors are education, religious views, ethnicity, and gender. When it comes to gender, an important concept that needs to be understood is something called “gender gap” which is a term describing the various political differences between men and women. So basically, the gender gap implies that women are more likely than men to hold liberal views. Remember, this is called influences on voter behavior. None of these influences cause people to vote a certain way. They can just influence it. So if you look statistically at the entire nation there’s more liberal women than there are liberal men. However that doesn’t mean that if you saw someone who is a woman you could say, “Oh, she must be liberal because she is a woman.” You’re going to be wrong millions and millions of times because there are millions of women who are actually conservative. So, remember that while these different factors influence someone’s behavior as a voter, it doesn’t cause them to vote a certain way. So, they’re sometimes going to be wrong. Now, all these factors influence something very important called “party affiliation.” The party affiliation is what political party people are a part of or tend to lean towards. So usually this is going to be the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. But it can be a number of smaller parties or they can even classify themselves as an Independent. So all of these factors here influence someone’s party affiliation. The number one influencer of party affiliation is someone’s family. But party affiliation is the number one influencer of who someone actually votes for. So, if a Democrat goes to vote, they are most likely going to vote for Democrats. Now, a Democrat may vote for some Republicans, but for the most part they’re going to vote for Democrats cause that’s kind of going to be they’re default. Now, if they’re not sure who they’re going to vote for, they’re probably going to vote for a Democrat. It works vice versa for Republicans. So, all these factors here, family being the main one, influence someone’s party affiliation and then party affiliation is the number one influencer of who that person actually votes for when they go to vote or you could also say the number one factor of who they support in a political campaign. The person that’s politically active – well party affiliation is going to influence who they donate to or who they volunteer for. So, that’s a look at voter behavior.

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Last updated: 07/25/2017
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