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In democratic electoral politics, individual vote choices are central to explaining electoral outcomes. There are at least two ideas that have percolated from scholarship into the popular consciousness to explain voter choice:

  1. People vote based upon their personal preferences (rational choice)
  2. People vote because of their social group

Rational choice voting has its roots in economics, whereas Converse may be the father of social voting. It is conceivable, although I do not know of any, that there are other explanations in the literature.

This question could be thought of as taking two forms:

  1. As of 2018, who are the scholars currently (or recently) researching voter behavior?
  2. What is the state of research on voter behavior?

The use of "main" is not to introduce an evaluation of importance into the answer, only to limit research to that which most scholars in the field would be aware of, whether or not it is recognized as true.

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    I suspect that FiveThirtyEight will have some articles on this, but I don't recall any off the top of my head. – Bobson Jul 30 '18 at 16:28
  • Is this really a question about theories of voting behavior, or are you asking for a list of scholars? The title says one thing, but the text (to me) suggests something else. Otherwise I love the question. – indigochild Jul 30 '18 at 22:30
  • FWIW, the two theories of voting behavior you identify are not the only ones currently considered seriously in political science research. "Referendum voting" (indiscriminately voting out incumbents when your personal circumstances are unsatisfactory and voting for incumbents when your personal circumstances are fine), voting on an entire ticket based upon your attitude towards the top of the ticket candidate (without regard to the performance or qualifications of down ticket candidates), partisan voting, signaling based on the view of trusted persons, and name recognition, are other theories. – ohwilleke Jul 30 '18 at 22:57
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    @ohwilleke Why don't you answer the question? This would be what I am looking for, with a little more detail, such as authors or the people to look for that write on this. – The Pompitous of Love Jul 31 '18 at 13:26
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    "Why don't you answer the question?" Because it has an overwhelmingly broad scope that would normally be taught in a semester long class, and I don't have time at the moment to do that. – ohwilleke Jul 31 '18 at 16:27

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