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Current time:0:00Total duration:5:18

Video transcript

what we're going to do in this video is start to think about voting behavior and in particular we're going to start classifying motivations for why someone votes for a particular candidate and I'm going to introduce some terms that you that will impress your political science friends but you'll see that they map to things that we see every day or even behaviors that we see in ourselves in a pretty intuitive way so one pretty clear reason why someone might vote for one candidate or another is because of their political party and so this would be referred to as party line voting party line voting so if your family has always been a Republican and you're a Republican and you just always support the Republican candidate that would be party line voting now another behavior that political scientists will often talk about is the idea of rational choice a rational choice and this is the idea that someone would choose to vote for one candidate or another based on a perception of which candidate is going to benefit them the most which one would it be rational for their own well-being so for example if you said hey you know what I really care about the corporate tax rate I'm the CEO of a corporation if my corporate tax rate were to go down then I would be able to have a more thriving business and I think one candidate is going to do better for me that on the corporate tax rate and I'm gonna vote for them because of that that would be your rational choice your model your what's driving your voting behaviors what's gonna benefit me now another classification that you will hear talked about is retrospective voting retrospective and this is the idea that hey I'm just gonna vote for someone if it seems like they've been doing a good job or if it seems like things have been improving under their watch you're looking in retrospect and this will often be for incumbents and saying hey look yeah the last term was pretty good with them so I'm gonna vote for them again now the last classification we will introduce in this video is the opposite of retrospective voting and this is looking into the future prospective voting prospective voting and here you might look at one candidate and say look I think that they will be better for the country over the next four years you're not even necessarily thinking about your own personal benefit you're thinking about the country as a whole but you're looking forward you're looking prospectively and thinking about hey a candidate a I think is gonna do a better job so I'm gonna vote for her so with these classifications out of the way let's look at some statements that you might hear from folks when they think about who they are voting for so here it says the economy has been growing under Clinton so he has my vote so pause this video and how would you classify this motivation for voting well here the person the voter is talking about the economy in the recent past so this right over here is retrospective voting so I'll draw a line right over there that is retrospective voting Clinton seems to have been doing a good job where the economy's who've been going under him so he has my he has my vote now what about this statement I am a lifelong Democrat so Obama has my vote pause this video what type of voting behavior is that well here the individual is clearly motivated by their party line they're not talking about Obama being good for them in particular they're not talking about what Obama's gonna do in the future or what he's done in the recent past they're just talking about his party and that being the motivation for voting for him so that would be party line voting now what about this statement Bush has ideas that will be really good for this country so I'm going to vote for him pause this video what type of voting behavior is that well here the voters thinking prospectively thinking about well what will Bush do for the country in the near future ideas that will be really good for this country so that is prospective voting and then one more sample so if someone were to say I think Mitt Romney will lower my taxes so I'm going to vote for him what would that be pause the video again well we have one choice left here and that is indeed rational choice this voter is voting based on what is going to benefit them Mitt Romney's going to lower their taxes so they're gonna vote for them and to be clear it's not that everyone's behavior Falls clearly into one of these categories it oftentimes will be a mix of these categories in fact oftentimes someone might say hey I like Obama cuz he's a Democrat and I think he's going to be good for me and things might have been good under him or the perception is that things are good under him and they might believe that it's going to be good going forward many voters will be motivated by a combination of these