Alan I. Abramowitz

Alan I. Abramowitz
Emory University | EU · Department of Political Science

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89
Publications
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5,445
Citations
Citations since 2017
1 Research Item
1719 Citations
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Publications

Publications (89)
Article
Full-text available
A Recap of the 2016 Election Forecasts - Volume 50 Issue 2 - James E. Campbell, Helmut Norpoth, Alan I. Abramowitz, Michael S. Lewis-Beck, Charles Tien, James E. Campbell, Robert S. Erikson, Christopher Wlezien, Brad Lockerbie, Thomas M. Holbrook, Bruno Jerôme, Véronique Jerôme-Speziari, Andreas Graefe, J. Scott Armstrong, Randall J. Jones, Alfred...
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Evaluations of the 2014 Midterm Election Forecasts - Volume 48 Issue 2 - James E. Campbell, Alan I. Abramowitz, Joseph Bafumi, Robert S. Erikson, Christopher Wlezien, Michael S. Lewis-Beck, Charles Tien, Benjamin Highton, Eric McGhee, John Sides
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Since the 2010 midterm election, a combination of ideologically polarized parties and divided government has resulted in gridlock in Washington. Neither party can implement its own policy agenda, but bipartisan compromise appears to be almost impossible to achieve. In this article, I present evidence that the deep ideological divide between the par...
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The Time for Change Model once again correctly predicted the winner of the US presidential election. In late August, before the Republican and Democratic national conventions, the model predicted that President Obama would win 50.6% of the major party vote to 49.4% for his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. When all the votes are counted, it now a...
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The 2012 presidential campaign takes place at a time of deep political division in the United States. Democrats and Republicans differ sharply over Barack Obama's performance in office as well as a wide range of issues ranging from government spending and health care to immigration and gay marriage. These divisions are shaping the strategies of the...
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This project was undertaken in the framework of an initiative funded by the Information Processing Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aimed at producing models to provide an Integrated Crisis Early Warning Systems (ICEWS) for decision makers in the U.S. defense community. The holding grant is to the Lockheed Martin C...
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An examination of the results of the recent midterm elections indicates that the new House of Representatives will probably be the most conservative and ideologically polarized House since the end of World War II. Republicans will hold 242 seats after a net gain of 63 seats, constituting the largest Republican majority in the House of Representativ...
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At the grass roots level, the emergence of the Tea Party movement can best be understood as an outgrowth of the increased conservatism of the Republican electoral base, and especially the more politically engaged segment of that base, since the 1970s. I present evidence from American National Election Study surveys showing that Republican identifie...
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Alan Abramowitz trains his lens on the disappearing center in US politics. He surmises that the polarization in politics has long historical roots and has only increased under both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations. The divergence between parties is at historic highs according to Congressional vote tallies. It is largely due to id...
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Along with the unpopularity of President Bush and the dire condition of the U.S. economy, changes in the composition of the American electorate played a major role in Barack Obama’s decisive victory in the 2008 presidential election. The doubling of the nonwhite share of the electorate between 1992 and 2008 was critical to Obama’s election as Afric...
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As Election Day approaches, many political commentators are asking whether the 2010 midterm elections could be a reprise of 1994, when Republicans picked up eight seats in the Senate and 52 seats in the House of Representatives to take control of both chambers for the first time in 40 years. There is almost universal agreement that Republicans are...
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Alan Abramowitz and Ruy Teixeira document the dramatic decline in the white working class and discuss the complicated ways this decline has transformed American politics. They also discuss the emergence of a mass upper-middle class whose effects on American politics may be similarly complicated.
Article
Along with the unpopularity of President Bush and the dire condition of the U.S. economy, changes in the composition of the American electorate played a major role in Barack Obama’s decisive victory in the 2008 presidential election. The doubling of the nonwhite share of the electorate between 1992 and 2008 was critical to Obama’s election as Afric...
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Full-text available
Since the 1970s, partisan polarization has increased dramatically in the electorate as well as in Congress and this development has had important consequences for Senate elections. The electoral coalitions supporting Democratic and Republican Senate candidates have become increasingly distinct in terms of race and ideology which has led to increase...
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The October 2008 issue of PS published a symposium of presidential and congressional forecasts made in the summer leading up to the election. This article is an assessment of the accuracy of their models. The Time-for-Change Model proved one of the most accurate of the 2008 presidential election forecasts run in the October PS symposium. Using thre...
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At first glance, the outcome of the 2008 presidential election would appear to be very difficult to predict. For the first time in over 50 years, there will be no incumbent president or vice president in the race. Instead, the Republican Party, which has seen its popularity and electoral fortunes plummet since 2004, is pinning its hopes of retainin...
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This article uses data from the American National Election Studies and national exit polls to test Fiorina's assertion that ideological polarization in the American public is a myth. Fiorina argues that twenty-first-century Americans, like the midtwentieth-century Americans described by Converse, “are not very well-informed about politics, do not h...
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The popular vote for president can be predicted accurately before the national nominating conventions based on three factors: the incumbent president's approval rating at mid-year, the growth rate of the economy during the first half of the election year, and the length of time that the president's party has controlled the White House. Regardless o...
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In recent years, a number of media commentators and scholars have blamed primary voters for the rise of polarization in American politics. According to this argument, primary electorates are dominated by strong partisans whose views are more extreme than those of rank-and-file party supporters. This article uses data from recent exit polls of prima...
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The 2004 presidential election produced a dramatic increase in voter turnout and in a variety of campaign activities beyond voting. In this article, we demonstrate that the main reason for this increased turnout and activism was the intense polarization of the American electorate over George W. Bush. George Bush in 2004 was the most polarizing pres...
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This article uses data from the 1952-2004 American National Election Studies and the 2004 U.S. National Exit Poll to compare the influence of ideology and membership in social groups on party identification. Contrary to the claim by Green, Palmquist, and Schickler (2002) that party loyalties are rooted in voters’ social identities, we find that par...
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This article builds on the work of Abramowitz and Saunders (1998) by exploring the ideological realignment theory among northern and southern whites in the pre-Reagan, Reagan, and post-Reagan eras. Our findings indicate that among conservative southern whites there has been a steady movement toward the Republican Party during the last three decades...
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Competition in U.S. House elections has been declining for more than 50 years and, based on both incumbent reelection rates and the percentage of close races, the 2002 and 2004 House elections were the least competitive of the postwar era. This article tests three hypotheses that attempt to explain declining competition in House elections: the redi...
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This article describes a model for forecasting the outcomes of congressional elections based on national political conditions and candidate behavior. Pre-election Gallup Poll data on the generic vote and presidential approval are used to measure national political conditions and data on open seats and challenger quality are used to measure the beha...
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span style="font-size: 100%; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{"1":2,"2":"The South\u2019s partisan shift from solidly Democratic to leaning Republican is one of the biggest transformations in American political history. This paper explores four explanations for this change: ideological self-identification and issue positions, changes in the...
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Using data from the 1996 and 2000 American National Election Studies, this article analyzes the behavior of voters who split their tickets, voting for one party’s presidential candidate and the opposing party’s House candidate, in presidential election years. We test the hypotheses that balancing behavior is likely to occur only when the outcome of...
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According to Morris Fiorina, Americans are moderate, tolerant, and ambivalent in their political attitudes. This has always been true and it is, if anything, more true today than in the past. The culture war is almost entirely an elite phenomenon, driven by a small group of activists on the left and right who exert influence far out of proportion t...
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Based on George Bush's net approval rating of −1% in the final Gallup Poll in June, a 3.7% growth rate for real GDP during the first two quarters of 2004, and the fact that the Republican Party had controlled the White House for only one term, the time-for-change model predicted that Mr. Bush would win reelection with 53.7% of the major party vote....
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Despite mediocre approval ratings and below average economic growth, George W. Bush has a good chance of winning a second term in the White House according to the time-forchange forecasting model.
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This article investigates the consequences of ideological realignment for the motivations and policy preferences of active partisans—Democratic and Republican identifiers who engage in electoral activities that go beyond the act of voting. We hypothesize that, consistent with the logic of persuasion and selective recruitment/derecruitment, the infl...
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An analysis of the 2004 presidential election results indicates that President Bush's relatively narrow victory reflected the normal advantage of incumbency and preexisting divisions within the American electorate rather than a fundamental shift in the partisan or ideological loyalties of the electorate. There was little change in the public's atti...
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“It is no accident that the president's travels this year have followed the map of states that top the Bush target list for winning in 2004, particularly Florida and Pennsylvania. That also helps explain why his advisers sometimes seem more focused on electing Republican governors rather than members of Congress in states like Florida, Illinois, an...
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This paper tests three competing explanations for the outcome of the 1998 midterm election: a normal politics explanation, a peace-and-prosperity explanation, and a scandal backlash explanation. After examining the evidence from the 1998 National Election Study, I conclude that the most important reason for the Republican party's poor showing in th...
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Using data from the 1976–1994 American National Election Studies and the 1992–94 ANES panel survey, this paper demonstrates that the outcomes of the 1994 and 1996 elections reflected a longterm shift in the bases of support and relative strength of the two major parties. This shift in the party loyalties of the electorate was based on the increased...
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In this article I descnbe a model for forecasting the outcomes of U.S. presidential elections. The model uses three predictors: the incumbent president's approval rating at midyear, the annual rate of growth of real gross domestic product during the first half of the election year, and the length of time that the president's party has held the Whit...
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Using data from the 1994 and earlier National Election Studies, this essay examines the causes and consequences of the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives and its implications for research on congressional elections. The dramatic Republican gains in the 1994 midterm election appear to reflect long-term shifts in the partisan and ide...
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This article uses data from the 1992 American National Election Study to analyze the influence of abortion attitudes on candidate choice in the 1992 presidential election. Despite the general belief that the presidential election was decided almost exclusively on economic issues, attitudes toward abortion had a significant influence on candidate ch...
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Research on congressional districting after the 1970 and 1980 censuses found a short-term partisan advantage when a party controlled all three branches of state government. Results from the 1992 election indicate that, on average, partisan control of state government did little or nothing to enhance partisan gains from redistricting. The requiremen...
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Carmines and Stimson's theory of racial issue evolution has strongly influenced scholarly and popular interpretations of U.S. party politics. The central proposition of this theory is that racial attitudes have shaped \ the party loyalties of voters who have entered the electorate since 1964. Using data from the 1980 and 1988 American National Elec...
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Comparing House and Senate Elections Personal and Policy Images of US Senators and Representatives Constituency Factors in Senate Elections Comparing Senate and House Challengers Voting for the Senate and the House Campaigns and Public Opinion towards Senators.
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We analyze three explanations of candidate choice in presidential nomination campaigns: (1) a preference model, which contends that nomination choice is based on the ideological, issue, or candidate preferences of the voter; (2) a candidate-chances explanation that argues choice is motivated by the chances candidates have of winning the nomination...
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Although candidates are very concerned about garnering prenomination group endorsements, there is virtually no research on the effects of such endorsements at the presidential level. In 1984, teachers', women's, and labor groups all endorsed Mondale for the Democratic nomination. Using a survey of Democratic caucus participants, we examine the effe...
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The 1986 and 1988 U.S. House elections set all-time records for reelection of incumbents. This paper proposes and tests a comprehensive model of House election outcomes and uses this model to explain competition for House seats. The results indicate that the extraordinarily low level of competition in recent House elections is directly attributable...
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Most analysis of the gender gap has focused on the mass electorate. But over the past 20 years, women have also come to play a much more important role in presidential nominations in both parties. Looking at caucus participants across parties, we find sex differences greater than those discovered at the mass level. Female caucus participants are si...
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Using data from an exit poll, this paper tests three models of voter decision making in a presidential primary: a simple candidate preference model, a bandwagon model, and an expected utility model. For both Republican and white Democratic primary voters, the data support the expected utility model. In choosing a candidate for their party's nominat...
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Using data from the 1984 American National Election Study, this paper examines the influence of personal finances on political evaluations. Evaluations of the presidential candidates were affected by perceived changes in personal economic well-being only among citizens who held the government or society responsible for these changes. Attributions o...
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Aggregate-level data are used in this analysis to explain the outcomes of Senate elections between 1974 and 1986. Using the individual Senate contest as the unit of analysis permits estimating the relative influence of a wide variety of factors on Senate election results including political characteristics of states, characteristics of the candidat...
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This paper analyzes prenomination presidential candidate preferences, using data from the Center for Political Studies'' 1984 Continuous Monitoring Survey. Among Democratic identifiers, affective evaluations of the candidates were the strongest influence on candidate preference, but judgments concerning the candidates'' nomination prospects and ele...
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Models of aggregate vote change in midterm congressional elections have largely ignored the role of short-term party evaluations. This paper argues in favor of including such evaluations in the analysis of midterm voting change. We find that short-term party evaluations link both presidential popularity and economic conditions with election results...
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Though House election outcomes have received much attention in recent years, comparable attention has not been paid to the Senate. We test a model of Senate seat change that includes changes in per capita real disposable income, presidential popularity, and party control of seats at stake in an election. The data consist of all Senate elections sin...
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Using data gathered in the CPS 1974, 1978, and 1982 American National Election Studies, this paper examines the effects of economic conditions and presidential popularity on voting in midterm congressional elections. The effect of presidential evaluations varied depending on the salience of national issues in the election campaign: the strongest ef...
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This article tests the strategic politicians hypothesis by examining the effects of national issues and the strategic decisions of congressional candidates and campaign contributors on voting behavior in a presidential election year, 1980, and a midterm election year, 1982. The findings indicate that national issues--the presidential contest in 198...
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This study finds high rates of defection from parental partisanship among a sample of undergraduate students at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, despite relying on students'' perceptions of their parents'' party loyalties, which almost certainly exaggerate agreement between students and parents. There was a much higher rate of defec...
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Recent studies of party activists in the United States have shown an influx of issue-oriented activists into the presidential nominating process since the 1960s. These new activists are described as dogmatic ideologues more interested in promoting their issue concerns than in nominating an electable candidate. Based on our survey of 17,628 delegate...
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Based on evidence from a survey of 17,628 delegates attending twenty-two state party conventions in connection with the 1980 presidential nominating campaign, this article argues that the fears expressed by Kirkpatrick and other scholars concerning the dangers to the parties from the growing involvement of issue-oriented activists have been exagger...
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This research note investigates the impact of partisan redistricting on the results of the 1982 elections for the U.S. House of Representatives. The increase in the Democratic proportion of House seats relative to the increase in the Democratic proportion of the popular vote for House candidates (the swing ratio) was much greater in the seventeen s...
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Despite diversity, there are important commonalities among the activists of each American state party—in demographic characteristics as well as ideological tendency. Using data from more than 17,000 delegates to state party conventions in 11 states, we find large party differences in minority representation, but smaller age and sex differences. Ide...
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In a survey of eligible voters in the 1978 Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial primary, there was no evidence of strategic voting. Respondents committed to the Republican candidate in the general election were not influenced by potential candidate strength in their choice for the Democratic nomination; neither were respondents who preferred both Demo...
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Using data from the 1978 CPS National Election Study, this research note analyzes the impact of ideology on voting in the 1978 U.S. Senate elections. Twenty-four states with contested Senate races were included in the CPS survey and were classified according to the clarity of ideological differences between the Senate candidates. Voters' perception...
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This article compares voting for U.S. senator and representative in 1978. Analysis of data from the Center for Political Studies 1978 Election Study reveals that incumbents were better known and more positively evaluated than challengers, but House incumbents enjoyed a much greater advantage than Senate incumbents. The invisibility of most House ch...
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This study evaluates the impact of the first presidential debate of 1976 on the rationality of voting decisions. Using data from a panel of eligible voters in Williamsburg-James City County, Virginia, three models of attitude consistency are tested: rational voting, selective perception, and persuasion. Rational voting is defined as choosing a cand...
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Legislatures and citizens' groups around the country are developing new laws to reform campaign financing, yet there is very little quantitative analysis available to guide them. Berry, in his recent review, concluded that “the financing of elections remains one of the least understood areas in the study of American political behavior … money is su...
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The electoral advantage of incumbency in congressional elections is well known. However, very little research has attempted to explain why voters generally prefer incumbents to challengers. This article uses data from a survey of registered voters in Lane County, Oregon, to analyze the incumbency effect in an election for the U. S. House of Represe...
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This study uses data from the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) to investigate ideological constraint and polarization in the American electorate. An analysis of responses to questions on a variety of national issues indicates a high level of ideological constraint among voters in 2006 with a much lower level of constraint among...
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--Dept. of Political Science, Stanford University, 1976. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 159-163).

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