Marc André Bodet, Yannick Dufresne, François Gélineau et Joanie Bouchard

Follow the (ISSUE) Leader? The Leader-Led Nexus Revisited

7 février 2020

Marc André Bodet, Yannick Dufresne, François Gélineau et Joanie Bouchard ont publié un article dans Public Opinion Quarterly de l'Oxford Academic.

Public opinion scholars have long debated the relationship between policy preferences, electoral candidates, and voters. While some argue that voters’ positions on the issues of the day affect the positions candidates take, others argue that relationship runs the other way. Gabriel Lenz's 2012 book on the leader-led nexus provides an original design and provocative conclusions in a comparative context, though some have criticized the author’s findings (see, for instance, Matthews 2017). This article makes use of a multiwave voting advice application (VAA) panel dataset collected in the Canadian province of Quebec to test the generalizability of some of Lenz’s fundamental conclusions. Our results show that the influence of leaders on voters may be less important—or even reversed—where issues at stake are easy for voters to understand. The results offer evidence of issue priming and partisan influence; as well, the effect of leader influence on voters’ issue positions can vary by age group.

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