Are ideologically moderate candidates more electable than ideologically extreme candidates? Historically, both research in political science and conventional wisdom answer yes to this question. However, given the rise of ideologues on both the right and the left in recent years, it is important to consider whether this assumption is still accurate. I find that, while moderates have historically enjoyed an advantage over ideologically extreme candidates in congressional elections, this gap has disappeared in recent years, where moderates and ideologically extreme candidates are equally likely to be elected. This change persists for both Democratic and Republican candidates.
This document was originally published in Journal of Politics by University of Chicago Press. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1086/706054
Utych, Stephen M.. (2020). "Man Bites Blue Dog: Are Moderates Really More Electable than Ideologues?". Journal of Politics, 82(1), 392-396. https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/706054