Abstract
I examine whether and to what extent the electorate in low-turnout elections is a subset of the voters in high-turnout elections. Using a Guttman scale analysis, it is demonstrated that a substantial amount of voter behavior follows this concentric pattern, even across different types of elections and over a period of several years. The second half of the paper explores the implications of this concentric relationship, and establishes that the turnout level has a strong impact on the demographic and partisan characteristics of an electorate. Lower turnout reduces the representation of minorities, poorer, and younger voters, while increasing the amount of partisan polarization among voters.
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