Deducing Preferences and Choices in the 1980 Presidential Election



It is appropriate, we think, to conclude this book by analyzing, as of this writing (June 1982), the most recent presidential election. Fortuitously, included in this election was the most significant independent or third-party candidate since George Wallace in 1968, whose impact on the 1968 race we assessed in Section 8.3. As we shall show, the outcome of the 1980 race would not have changed under approval voting, but the independent candidate, John Anderson, would have done spectacularly better than he did under plurality voting, at least in the popular vote.


Presidential Election Vote System Preference Order Voter Behavior Strategic Vote 
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Footnotes to Chapter 9

  1. 1.
    This chapter is based largely on Steven J. Brams and Peter C. Fishburn, “Deducing Preferences and Choices in the 1980 Presidential Election,” Electoral Studies (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    V. O. Key, Jr., The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting, 1936–1960 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    An exception is R. F. Bensel and M. E. Sanders, “Electoral Rules and Rational Voting: The Effects of Candidate Viability Perceptions on Voting Decisions,” in Power, Voting, and Voting Power, edited by Manfred J. Holler (Würzburg: Physica-Verlag, 1982), pp. 188–200.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jeffrey D. Alderman, “ABC News General Election Exit Poll: GOP Landslide: Realignment or Rejection?” (mimeographed, 1981). We owe special thanks to John C. Blydenburgh for instigating the collection of these data by ABC News.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Interview with Peter D. Hart, New York Times, November 9, 1981, p. E3.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    John F. Stacks, National Political Correspondent, Time (personal communication to S. J. Brams, October 1980).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Alvin P. Sanoff, “The Perils of Polling 1980: How the Takers of the Nation’s Pulse Missed the Beat,” Washington Journalism Review 3,3 (January–February 1981), 32–35; Michael J. Robinson, “The Media in 1980: Was the Message the Message?” in The American Elections of 1980, edited by Austin Ranney (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1981), p. 195, Figure 6-3; and Paul R. Abramson, John H. Aldrich, and David W. Rohde, Change and Continuity in the 1980 Elections (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1982), pp. 44–48, 55–56.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    Warren Weaver, Jr., “Election in House Studied by Parties,” New York Times, May 15, 1981, p. B15.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    P. R. Abramson, J. H. Aldrich, and D. W. Rohde, Change and Continuity in the 1980 Elections, pp. 180–182.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    Gerald De Maio and Douglas Muzzio, “The 1980 Elections and Approval Voting,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 9,3 (Summer 1981), 369.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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