2003 August 21 Thursday
Ballot Candidate Name Order Influences Voter Choices

Not exactly a confidence-inspiring revelation about the electorate.

In the 2000 presidential race, George W. Bush received 9 percent more votes among Californians when he was listed first on the ballot than when he was listed later, a new study found.

“Even in high profile elections such as the presidential race and upcoming recall contest, name order on the ballot can make a big difference,” said Jon Krosnick, co-author of the study and professor of psychology and political science at Ohio State.


In this new study, Krosnick and two colleagues examined how ballot position affected votes cast for the presidential candidates in three states: California, North Dakota and Ohio. All three states rotate candidate names on ballots within the state. And in all three states, Bush received more votes when he was listed first on the ballots. Other presidential candidates also tended to do better when listed first, but the results were not statistically significant, Krosnick said.

One advantage that Arnold Schwarzenegger has in running for Governor of California is that people actually know who he is. Plus, his name is longer and so it sticks out in a list of names. A person scanning down the list is more likely to notice it.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 August 21 02:41 PM  Human Nature

lisa said at October 13, 2004 10:52 PM:

woahh thats a trip.. who woulda know if u put ur name first people would vote for you..

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