Study: The evolution of extremist politicians

extremismArizona Daily Independent

Today’s longer campaign cycles, filled with numerous televised debates and constant news reporting and social media coverage, are causing the rise of extremist politicians, according to a new study from the University of Miami School of Business Administration, just published in the American Economic Journal: Economics.

The research, which utilized game theory, finds that longer campaigns, which offer voters more information on the candidates via 24-hour news coverage and social media, turn voters’ attention more toward a candidate’s character – such as trustworthiness and how he or she delivers speeches and exchanges debate barbs – and away from his or her stance on policy. With this in mind, politicians now have less incentive to moderate their messages, a tactic often used in order to bring swing voters to ballot boxes as they tend to vote for more moderate candidates.

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