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PIPE* Workshop: Kathleen Bawn, UCLA

April 24, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Beyond a Reliable Vote: Coordination and Information Problems in Congressional Nominations

Research in collaboration with: Knox Brown, Angela Ocampo, Shawn Patterson, John Ray and John Zaller

Congressional primaries, like primary elections in general, are imagined to give voters, rather than party elites, the ability to choose which candidate wins the nomination. Indeed, we might expect primary election outcomes to reflect the preferences of the median primary voter, in roughly the way we expect general election outcomes to reflect the preferences of the overall district median.

We challenge this conventional wisdom. 

We argue that primary elections follow a fundamentally different logic than general elections, due to the absence of party as a cue, and to the presence of more than two viable candidates.  Drawing on empirical insights from our 2014 field study of nominations to open House seats, we argue that the congressional nomination process, and therefore the selection of MC’s, is dominated by the preferences of the organized groups affiliated with each party.

*Political Institutions and Political Economy research across disciplinary boundaries


April 24, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall
645 Exposition Blvd., Room 302, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Los Angeles, CA 90089 US
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Bedrosian Center on Governance and Office of the Provost
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Bedrosian Center