Elections matter for democratic polities, creating linkages between voters, elected officials, and policymaking. These linkages have often been challenging to study empirically owing to the limited availability of suitable data with which to link individual-level voting to aggregate-level policymaking, and also to enduring controversies in the study of mass political behavior. I discuss several new research programs that have begun to advance scholarly understanding of these political linkages. Underlying this work is progress in understanding the microfoundations of voting behavior, coupled with new analytical models of aggregate preferences. Following a discussion of these issues, I consider several innovative strains of research on opinion-policy linkages. This scholarship has significant potential for advancing empirical democratic theory and the study of linkages between voting behavior and other political processes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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