Political values count but issue ownership decides? How stable and dynamic factors influence party set and vote choice in multiparty systems
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Political Science Review. 2016, 37 (2), 261-276. 10.1177/0192512114558456
This article addresses the relationship between latent predispositions and political campaign communication. We propose that political values are decisive in a voter’s calculation of which parties she may consider voting for, constituting his or her party set. Furthermore, we argue that the theory of issue ownership contributes to explaining the choice of party within the party set. In addition to investigating salient single issue ownership, we relate issue ownership to parties presenting voters with comprehensive policy packages and study the effect of cumulative issue ownership, that is, issue ownership in several policy areas. We test the hypotheses using data from the Norwegian Election Study of 2009. Our findings support our expectations: stable elements affect which parties are included in the party set, and issue ownership affect the choice between the parties within the set. However, political values also affect the choice between parties in the set. Finally, our data show that cumulative issue ownership has a greater effect than issue ownership of one particularly salient issue. The final section of the article discusses the implications for the theory of issue ownership in general and the model presented in this article in particular.