The Assembled Allan Meltzer & Paul Krugman

Photograph by Tom Williams/Roll Call

Vanderbilt political scientist Larry Bartels found that “political ignorance matters—not only for individual votes, but also for election outcomes.” In a 1996 article, he simulated a fully informed electorate and found that “on average, Democrats do almost two percentage points better and incumbents do almost five percentage points better than they would if all voters in presidential elections were, in fact, fully informed.” In close elections, those differences could have real consequences.

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