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Candidate authenticity: 'To thine own self be true'

Candidate authenticity: 'To thine own self be true'
Candidate authenticity: 'To thine own self be true'
In recent electoral contests, political observers and media outlets increasingly report on the level of “authenticity” of political candidates. However, even though this term has become commonplace in political commentary, it has received little attention in empirical electoral research. In this study, we identify the characteristics that we argue make a politician “authentic”. After theoretically discussing the different dimensions of this trait, we propose a survey battery aimed at measuring perceptions of the authenticity of political candidates. Testing our measure using data sets from different countries, we show that the answers to our items load on one latent concept that we call “authenticity”. Furthermore, perceptions of candidate authenticity seem to correlate strongly with evaluations of political parties and leaders, and with vote intention, while they are empirically distinguishable from other traits. We conclude that candidate authenticity is an important trait that should be taken into account by future research.
Authenticity, Candidate Traits, Political Candidates, Elections
0190-9320
1-24
Stiers, Dieter
a4fddbaa-adf5-49d8-92a4-77da22e05acc
Larner, Jac
5004f2fe-e6e8-4d3b-9dc4-1e9c3636e215
Kenny, John
db32975a-c617-4d10-9564-b94c32942f3d
Breitenstein, Sofia
d79ded3a-d610-477d-be2a-7043273c12de
Vallée-Dubois, Florence
87e97a42-7aae-471b-8159-493c95b7a141
Lewis-Beck, Michael S.
dc1269a5-62a3-4bae-bb9b-dd74bebad534
Stiers, Dieter
a4fddbaa-adf5-49d8-92a4-77da22e05acc
Larner, Jac
5004f2fe-e6e8-4d3b-9dc4-1e9c3636e215
Kenny, John
db32975a-c617-4d10-9564-b94c32942f3d
Breitenstein, Sofia
d79ded3a-d610-477d-be2a-7043273c12de
Vallée-Dubois, Florence
87e97a42-7aae-471b-8159-493c95b7a141
Lewis-Beck, Michael S.
dc1269a5-62a3-4bae-bb9b-dd74bebad534

Stiers, Dieter, Larner, Jac, Kenny, John, Breitenstein, Sofia, Vallée-Dubois, Florence and Lewis-Beck, Michael S. (2019) Candidate authenticity: 'To thine own self be true'. Political Behavior, 0, 1-24. (doi:10.1007/s11109-019-09589-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In recent electoral contests, political observers and media outlets increasingly report on the level of “authenticity” of political candidates. However, even though this term has become commonplace in political commentary, it has received little attention in empirical electoral research. In this study, we identify the characteristics that we argue make a politician “authentic”. After theoretically discussing the different dimensions of this trait, we propose a survey battery aimed at measuring perceptions of the authenticity of political candidates. Testing our measure using data sets from different countries, we show that the answers to our items load on one latent concept that we call “authenticity”. Furthermore, perceptions of candidate authenticity seem to correlate strongly with evaluations of political parties and leaders, and with vote intention, while they are empirically distinguishable from other traits. We conclude that candidate authenticity is an important trait that should be taken into account by future research.

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Candidate Authenticity - To Thine Own Self Be True - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 25 October 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 December 2019
Keywords: Authenticity, Candidate Traits, Political Candidates, Elections

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 434956
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/434956
ISSN: 0190-9320
PURE UUID: 223983e0-b761-4891-b617-a29815cd5979
ORCID for John Kenny: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9401-3555

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Date deposited: 17 Oct 2019 16:30
Last modified: 15 Sep 2021 04:13

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Contributors

Author: Dieter Stiers
Author: Jac Larner
Author: John Kenny ORCID iD
Author: Sofia Breitenstein
Author: Florence Vallée-Dubois
Author: Michael S. Lewis-Beck

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