My dissertation, entitled "The Bipolar Voter: On the Effects of Political Polarization on Voter Turnout and Voting Behavior," seeks to understand whether polarization in party and candidate policy offerings affects the mass public's policy and partisan attitudes, and relatedly their decisions to turn out and to vote for parties and candidates strategically taking polarized policy and ideological stands. The dissertation answers these questions employing a novel discrete-choice model, a new measure of political polarization taking into consideration saliencies of particular issues to individuals, and original panel data. My major focus is on cross-national and cross-temporal analyses of established European democracies. As a check on these analyses, I also engage in in-depth case studies of the U.S. and Turkey. The intriguing conclusions are that party and elite polarization mobilize the electorate, change the distributions of their policy preferences, and consequently provide parties and their candidates with more electoral support. These findings run contrary to the existing literature suggesting that increasing polarization depresses voter turnout and to the conventional understanding that political parties position themselves in response to citizens' ideological and policy preferences.