Richard G. Niemi

Richard G. Niemi
University of Rochester | UR · Department of Political Science

About

66
Publications
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3,832
Citations

Publications

Publications (66)
Article
The development of political engagement in early life is significant given its impact on political knowledge and participation. Analyses reveal a large influence of parents on their offspring’s curiosity about politics during their teenage years. Increasingly, civic education is also considered an important influence on political interest and orien...
Article
Full-text available
The development of political engagement in early life is significant given its impact on political knowledge and participation. Analyses reveal a large influence of parents on their offspring’s curiosity about politics during their teenage years. Increasingly, civic education is also considered an important influence on political interest and orien...
Article
Do state-level exams in civics have a positive impact on young people's civic knowledge? We hypothesize that civics exams have the biggest effect in states where they are a requirement for high school graduation—the incentive hypothesis. We further hypothesize that civics requirements have the biggest effect on young people with less exposure to in...
Article
Do state-level exams in civics have a positive impact on young people's civic knowledge? We hypothesize that civics exams have the biggest effect in states where they are a requirement for high school graduation-the incentive hypothesis. We further hypothesize that civics requirements have the biggest effect on young people with less exposure to in...
Article
The 2000 U.S. presidential election resulted in states introducing new voting systems and election administration procedures. The election also raised concerns that poor experiences at the polls would produce lower levels of confidence in the electoral process or lower turnout. Drawing on theories used in organizational psychology and marketing and...
Article
Studies of ballots have traditionally focused on roll‐off, candidate order, and partisan advantage. This study is among the first to assess the impact of ballots on individual‐level voter errors. We develop new hypotheses by bringing together theoretical insights from usability research and political science about the effects of ballots with and wi...
Article
Objectives. Traditional theories of turnout are of limited applicability to college students: the concepts and measures associated with these theories were not designed with students in mind, and factors not considered by the traditional theories are relevant. We offer a new theoretical perspective for understanding college student turnout and test...
Article
Full-text available
Problems in the 2000 presidential election, especially in Florida, initiated a large-scale shift toward new voting technology. Using cross-sectional and longitudinal data, we report on the effects of changes in voting systems in Florida and Michigan. The variety of initial conditions and the numerous changes make these excellent case studies. We fi...
Article
The arrival of electronic voting has generated considerable controversy, mostly about its vulnerability to fraud. By comparison, virtually no attention has been given to its usability, i.e., voters’ ability to vote as they intend, which was central to the controversy surrounding the 2000 US presidential election. Yet it is hard to imagine a domain...
Article
Full-text available
The 2000 presidential election brought intense scrutiny to the American election process, resulting in a number of significant reforms. Some changes involved overhauling rules for audits and other administrative procedures. Others involved the ways in which voters record their votes. The latter set of reforms raised questions about the type and qua...
Article
Electronic voting systems were developed, in part, to make voting easier and to boost voters' confidence in the election process. Using three new approaches to studying electronic voting systems—focusing on a large-scale field study of the usability of a representative set of systems—we demonstrate that voters view these systems favorably but that...
Article
Full-text available
The 2000 election called attention to the need for assessing the usability of voting systems and accelerated the introduction of electronic voting systems across the United States. An expert review, usability laboratory study, and field study were conducted to assess six electronic voting systems and four vote-verification/election audit systems. T...
Article
Legislative term limits adopted in the 1990s are in effect in fifteen states today. This reform is arguably the most significant institutional change in American government of recent decades. Most of the legislatures in these fifteen states have experienced a complete turnover of their membership; hundreds of experienced lawmakers have become ineli...
Article
One of the oldest and most distinctive characteristics of American political culture is its anti-government, anti-politician bias. One manifestation of this attitude in state government today is the effort to maintain part-time “citizen” legislatures, whether through term limits, low salaries, or session length restrictions. But, realistically, how...
Article
Recent changes in partisan support suggest the beginning of a new group basis for the party coalitions. For the Republicans, the changes define group support more sharply than has been the case for many years—a combination of southern whites and a strong religious base of Catholics, regular church-goers, and Protestant fundamentalists. For Democrat...
Article
Expert reviews, laboratory tests, and a large-scale field study of one paper/optical scan and five electronic voting systems suggested numerous possible improvements. Changes could be made in all aspects of the process-signing-on, navigating across the ballot, checking and changing votes, casting write-in votes, and reviewing and casting the ballot...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The interdisciplinary project uses a variety of research designs, data collection methodologies, and analysis techniques and two ballot designs to assess five commercially available electronic voting systems and one prototype system developed specifically for the project. Each system is tested using an office bloc ballot and another standard ballot...
Article
Full-text available
With the recent troubles in U.S. elections, there has been a nationwide push to update voting systems. States and localities are investing heavily in electronic voting systems, many of which use a touch screen. These systems offer the promise of faster and more accurate voting; however, the current reality is that they have some shortcomings in ter...
Article
With the recent troubles in U.S. elections, there has been a nationwide push to update voting systems. Municipalities are investing heavily in electronic voting systems, many of which use a touch screen. These systems offer the promise of faster and more accurate voting, but the current reality is that they have some shortcomings in terms of voter...
Article
Full-text available
The interdisciplinary project uses a variety of research designs, data collection methodologies, and analysis techniques and two ballot designs to assess five commercially available electronic voting systems and one prototype system developed specifically for the project. Each system is tested using an office bloc ballot and another standard ballot...
Article
This article examines the past 50 years to update an analysis of the relationship between income and partisanship. Earlier, Nadeau and Stanley noted that therewas a change in partisanship in the South from inverse class polarization, in which higher income individuals more often identified with the Democratic Party, to normal class polarization, bu...
Article
In contrast to research on congressional and state legislative elections, strategic entry into gubernatorial contests has been largely unexplored. We examine the influence of incumbency, gubernatorial popularity, and other factors on candidate strategic decisions and the resulting level of competition in nonincumbent-party gubernatorial primaries b...
Article
Curiosities and inconsistencies in the format of U.S. election ballots go far beyond the infamous ballot. Ballot instructions, candidate and party listings, party symbols, and, in general, variations that result from a complex and highly decentralized election system provide ample opportunity for all but the most sophisticated voters to misundersta...
Conference Paper
With recent troubles in U.S. elections, there has been a nationwide push to update voting systems. Municipalities are investing heavily in electronic voting systems, many of which use a touch screen. These systems offer the promise of faster and more accurate voting, but the current reality is that they are fraught with usability and systemic probl...
Article
Job approval ratings for state governors, unlike those for the United States president, have been relatively inaccessible to political scientists. We introduce the U.S. Officials Job Approval Ratings (JAR) dataset, a new compilation of gubernatorial job approval ratings—along with senatorial and state-level presidential ratings—that draws together...
Article
Powell and Whitten (Am. J. Polit. Sci. 37 (1993) 391) showed that clarity of responsibility for public policy is a key determinant of the extent of economic voting, where their measure of clarity relies heavily on long-term institutional factors. Work since then suggests that clarity of responsibility is variable across time as well as space. We cr...
Article
In order to test the notion that the electorate relies, derivatively, onprofessional economic forecasts, we consider the entire chain betweenelite economic expectations, economic news, mass economic expectations,and voter preferences. We find that while elite expectations are based onthe objective economy, they are politically biased in the neighbo...
Article
Despite a greatly increased emphasis on state economic development, citizens' perceptions of state economic conditions have been infrequently studied, leaving a serious question as to how well citizens distinguish between national and state economic performance. We investigate the sources of state economic perceptions using data from 1990 Voter Res...
Article
Duverger's Law relating the single-member plurality system and the two-party system has recently been extended to the single nontransferable vote (SNTV), a system used in Japan prior to 1994 and in use in the Republic of China on Taiwan. The extended Law suggests that in districts in which there are M winners, there will be M+1 viable candidates. O...
Article
MacKuen, Erikson, and Stimson (1996) argue for a “banker” model of the electorate in which the expectations of economic experts flow through the news media to the mass public, then influencing presidential approval. Using business elites’ expectations and retrospections, a content analysis of print media, and the electorate's presidential approval...
Article
The annual budget presentation is one of the most important forms of public, partisan behaviour in a parliamentary democracy. As such, it should share many features with the addresses of US presidents, including their presumed efficacy. Yet public reactions to budget presentations have been studied only indirectly, and a link between these reaction...
Article
We argue that voters' assessments of party leaders are comparative and prospective rather than individual and retrospective. Therefore, a prospective leadership-comparison evaluation should outperform a leader-approval, retrospective indicator as a determinant of government and party popularity. Using data from 1984–92, a popularity function that i...
Article
Responses to autobiographical questions are known to represent more than simply retrieval of information from memory; inference, cuing, and “availability” all play a role. Using responses to items in four different surveys, we find that respondent motivation and ability, together with contextual cues, help determine how survey respondents answer kn...
Article
Theory: Theories about the effects of individual or group threat (largely psychological in origin) are combined with theories about the role of issue importance and of hope of success. Hypotheses: Anxiety, or threat, has an indirect effect on political learning (through issue importance); the effects of anxiety depend, interactively, on people's ho...
Article
We address two questions: How do people form their expectations about the likely winner of the next general election? and What are the links between expectations and votes? Using data collected by the Gallup organization in Great Britain, we find that the expectations formation process (1) has a significant inertia component but also a rapid adjust...
Article
We use a small but nationally representative sample to investigate the sources of innumeracy regarding the proportion of blacks, Hispanics, and Jews in the U.S. population. In addition to a number of standard demographic differences, we find that overestimates are closely related to region as well as to the density of the local black/Hispanic popul...
Article
Movement of party identification, both within and across generations, is increasingly seen as responsive to current policy preferences. We explore cross-generational change using three-wave parent-offspring data. The results strongly support the revised view of a more malleable partisanship influenced by offspring issue preferences. Nonetheless, pa...
Article
We propose measuring group support for political parties by means of multivariate techniques that have become standard in other areas of political behavior. This approach yields improved insights into the marginal difference made by membership in each group and into the nature of a party's support coalition. As an example of this approach, we analy...
Article
Converse proposed a model drawing on an individual's experience with the vote and socialization by the father to explain the strength of political partisanship. This experience-based model, despite varied criticisms, has gained wide acceptance. By focusing on cases in which political experience and age are not collinear, this article finds that the...
Article
The Niemi-Frank definition of sophisticated voting can now be evaluated on two grounds. First, we can compare our definition to Farquharson's. For the most part, the two definitions yield identical outcomes. Both pickCondorcet winners a very high proportion of the time and prevent the selection of Condorcet losers. The major differences are in the...
Article
Following Shively, we propose a theory to explain why voters perceive or fail to perceive candidates'' issue positions. The theory presumes that there is a continuum of methods that range from those that are very inexpensive in time, energy, and experience (e.g., guessing) to those that are moderately expensive (e.g., partisanship) to those that ar...
Article
More than a decade after its publication, Farquharson's Theory of Voting (1969) is still often cited and seems to have established itself as a classic volume, all, no doubt, because of Farquharson's remarkable insight that 'sophisticated' voters would act quite differently from 'sincere' voters. Since students are still struggling through Farquhars...
Article
Our results here demonstrate rather convincingly what our intuition tells us is correct. A chairman with a regular and tie-breaking vote is more likely to get his first choice than is a person with only a regular vote, and a person with a regular vote is more likely to get his way than is a chairman with only a tiebreaking vote. In addition, if tie...
Chapter
Plurality voting—the system of voting in which each individual casts a ballot for one alternative and the alternative with the most votes wins—is perhaps the most obviously manipulable of all voting procedures. Political observers have long noted that when most of the votes will be split between two candidates, sup-porters of minor candidates are t...
Article
In this article we take advantage of a two-wave panel study of two biologically-linked generations in order to examine some prevalent conceptions about the persistence of political orientations. The nature of the study design, outlined below, is particularly suited to addressing questions about individual-level continuities as they are affected by...
Article
Farquharson [5] was instrumental in creating the concept of sophisticated voting, in which voters are assumed to successively eliminate dominated strategies. However, his “matrix reduction” procedure is so cumbersome that little use has been made of his insights. Here we define, for binary procedures, a multistage method of sophisticated voting whi...
Article
Nowhere in the U.S. is federalism more evident than in the administration of elections, as the Constitution and historical practice leave this largely in the hands of the states (and even counties within states). Consequently, voters across jurisdictions are likely to have different experiences at the polls. We examine the impact of state party org...
Article
Full-text available
Driven by the high cost of multi-stage probability samples for face-to-face surveys and the alarming difficulties associated with the meteoric rise in reliance on the cell phone, Internet surveys now abound. Internet surveys, usually relying on the ―opt-in‖ (volunteer) panel as the method of recruiting respondents, are far less costly than face-to-...
Article
In understanding the political development of the pre-adult one of the central questions hinges on the relative and differentiated contributions of various socializing agents. The question undoubtedly proves more difficult as one traverses a range of polities from those where life and learning are almost completely wrapped up in the immediate and e...

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