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Partisanship - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Partisanship. GOVT 311 Lecture 6. Partisanship: Information shortcut or perceptual screen?. “A sense of belonging that an individual feels for a political party” A running tally of how individuals feel about parties? A perceptual screen that people use to filter information?.

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Partisanship l.jpg


GOVT 311 Lecture 6

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Partisanship:Information shortcut or perceptual screen?

  • “A sense of belonging that an individual feels for a political party”

  • A running tally of how individuals feel about parties?

  • A perceptual screen that people use to filter information?

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Partisanship as a “Running Tally” or “Informational Shortcut”

New Information

Re-Evaluation of Parties

Use Party ID to Make Voting Decisions

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Partisanship as a “Perceptual Screen” Shortcut”

New Information

Use Party ID to Evaluate Information

Discount Disagreeable Information, Value Agreeable Information

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Partisanship in the Aggregate Shortcut”

  • Number of votes cast for partisan candidates, usually the president.

  • In the aggregate, we can talk about a “normal vote” which is the predicted vote for a partisan candidate.

  • Problem with using presidential vote: ignores partisanship of those people who don’t vote.

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Realigning Elections Shortcut”

  • Happen about every 32 years

  • Important issue not being addressed by major parties

  • Presence of minor parties

  • High turnout

  • Following: new party system

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Realigning Elections Shortcut”

  • 1828: Andrew Jackson, birth of modern Democratic Party

  • 1860: Abraham Lincoln, birth of modern Republican Party

  • 1896: William Jennings Bryan Cross of Gold

  • 1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt: New Deal

  • 1960: Dealignment…?

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Elections Within a Party System Shortcut”

  • Maintaining election: favored party wins

  • Deviating election: other party steals a win

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Realignment in the South? Shortcut”

  • Following Reconstruction, the South became the “Solid South” – solidly Democratic.

  • Republican presidential candidate Goldwater won Southern states in 1964, first time a Republican had done so in 100 years.

  • Democratic vote for Congress in the South steadily declined from 1960-1972.

  • Why did the change in the vote for congressmembers lag behind vote for president?

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Partisanship Among Individuals Shortcut”

  • Most common way to measure it with three questions:

    • “Generally speaking do you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat, or what?”

    • (If R or D) “Would you call yourself a strong (R) or (D), or not very strong (R) or (D)?

    • (If Independent) Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican or to the Democratic Party?

  • May also be measured by partisan voter registration in states with closed or semi-closed primaries

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Partisan Change 1952-2004 Shortcut”(Source: American National Election Study)

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Changes in Partisanship Shortcut”

  • The rise of Independents (F & Z p.73)

    • 1952: 22% responded as Independent

    • 2004: 38% responded as Independent

  • The South:

    • 1952: 63% identify (D), 15% identify (R)

    • 2000: 37% identify (D), 30% identify (R)

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Partisan Change 1990-2007 Shortcut”(Source: Pew Survey Research)

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A Breakdown of Partisanship Shortcut”

  • Two ways to present the data:

    • Percentage of a group that belongs to a party (F & Z p. 104)

    • Percentage of a party that is composed of different groups (F & Z p.107)

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Social Group Analysis Shortcut”

  • Primary Groups – people that meet face to face, such as family, friends, co-workers, etc.

  • Secondary groups, collections of individuals – religious affiliation, ethnic group, unions, interest group membership, etc.

  • Social classes – high or low SES

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Primary Groups Shortcut”

  • Families tend to be politically homogenous. 70% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats say their spouse is of the same party (F & Z p.109).

  • People avoid “cognitive dissonance” – they generally seek friends who are like-minded.

  • People have less control of co-workers, but again we see considerable similarity. It may be that people don’t know the partisanship of co-workers they don’t agree with

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Secondary Groups Shortcut”

  • People of similar groups also have higher propensities to affiliate with a particular party.

  • Especially true for ethnicity, unions, and religion

  • Religion

    • Catholics & Jews: Democrats

    • Protestants

      • Educated: Republican

      • Uneducated: Democratic

    • Frequent Church attendance is related to more Republicanism

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Class Shortcut”

  • Lower SES slightly more likely to be Democratic

  • The relationship is not as strong as one might suspect, because lower SES is economically liberal, but socially conservative

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Red – Blue – Purple States Shortcut”

  • There is not much difference between these states (F&Z p.119)

  • Is it the behavior of the rich? (Gelman book)

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Cross-Pressure or Cognitive Dissonance Shortcut”

  • Persons who are cross-pressured (i.e., have family of one party and friends of another) are:

    • Less likely to vote

    • Less likely to vote a straight ticket

    • Have less interest in politics

    • Have low information about politics

    • Have conflicting attitudes on issues