the Coattail Effect


The coattail effect or down-ballot effect is the tendency for a popular political party leader to attract votes for other candidates of the same party in an election.

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For example, in the United States, the party of a victorious presidential candidate will often win many seats in Congress as well; these Members of Congress are voted into office “on the coattails” of the president.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.

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This theory is prevalent at all levels of government.


A popular statewide candidate for governor or senator can attract support for down ballot races of their party as well.


This is prevalent in the United Kingdom especially in a general election.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign state in western Europe.

A general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen.


People have a tendency to vote on the basis of a political party instead of the MP for their area.


This also refers to the phenomenon that members of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives are more likely to be voted for on a year of the presidential election than a midterm.


The "coattail effect" is not usually caused by a popular candidate convincing swing voters to cast their ballots for their party, although this is not unheard of.


Rather, the effect often stems from popular candidates driving voter turnout among their own party base, people who are likely to vote for downballot party candidates anyway.


The "coattail effect" has also been used to derogatorily describe the effect of Group Representation Constituencies in Singapore, where candidates for Parliament run on a party slate of 3 to 6 candidates.

In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative, elected body of government.


This allows weak candidates to get elected "riding on the coattails" of strong candidates on their slate.


Riding the coattails is a metaphor that refers to one who achieves some level of success or notability primarily through association with someone else.

A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers, for rhetorical effect, to one thing by mentioning another thing.


This can often be used as a generic phrase for anyone that hangs onto another person as they forge ahead, without effort from the hanger-on.

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