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Social Science Computer Review


We examine the effects of shocks on the invisible Presidential primary in the United States. First, we build on existing models using an algorithm simulating social network shocks. Findings show that positive shocks significantly aid the lead candidate’s chances of winning in the invisible primary. Negative shocks, however, are less detrimental to a lead candidate than positive shocks are helpful, as the leader is often able to survive a negative shock and still emerge victorious. Broad empirical tests demonstrate the importance of shocks as well. Beyond the importance of shocks, findings also suggest that Presidential candidate success in the invisible primary owes more to public- than elite-driven factors.