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Political Science in Europe

Who Should Run And Where? A Conjoint Experiment on Party Member Support for Candidate Nomination at the German State- And Federal-Level

Political Parties
Party Members
Michael Jankowski
Carl Von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Michael Jankowski
Carl Von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Jan Berz
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

Which characteristics affect the nomination of candidates for parliamentary seats? In representative democracies, candidate recruitment and nomination are important functions of political parties. However, little is known about the effect of candidate characteristics on the likelihood to be nominated. Are party members biased towards certain demographic characteristics and do they hold different requirements at the state- and federal-level? We shed light on this issue by investigating the effect of various candidate characteristics on Party Members’ favourability in a conjoint experiment. Our analysis shows that engagement and experience in local party activities, as well as roots in the region are central characteristics. Demographic characteristics like gender and educational attainment likewise matter, but to a lesser extent and in case of gender in favour of under-represented female candidates. We find no evidence that the effect of candidate characteristics differ between the state- and federal-level.
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