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Negative Partisanship: Why Americans Dislike Parties But Behave Like Rabid Partisans: Negative Partisanship and Rabid Partisans

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Abstract

One of the most important developments in American politics over the last 40 years has been the rise of negative partisanship—the phenomenon whereby Americans largely align against one party instead of affiliating with the other. Though it has the power to reshape patterns of political behavior, little is known about the microfoundations driving negative partisanship. In this article, we show how the growing racial divide between the two major parties, as well as the presence of partisan-friendly media outlets, have led to the rise of negative partisanship. We also utilize the growing literature on personality and politics to show how the Big Five personality traits are predictive of negative partisanship. The results suggest that the psychological roots of negative partisanship are both widespread and, absent drastic individual and structural-level changes, likely to persist.

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... Again, this may particularly be the case in a political context. Political content is often dominated by expressions of negative partisanship such as attacking the viewpoints of politicians or supporters of the opposing political party (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018). Therefore, people who are active in the political domain might be particularly attracted to negativity in social media posts. ...
... One important factor may be negative partisanship, which is the tendency of some politically active individuals to form their political opinions primarily in opposition to political parties they dislike. Indeed, research found that negative emotional content is increasingly utilized to discount viewpoints that do not align with one's political ideology (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018). What follows from negative partisanship is affective polarization, which refers to the tendency for individuals who identify with one party to dislike and distrust those individuals from the other party (Druckman & Levendusky, 2019). ...
... The reason for this is that extreme attitudes are often a result of negative partisanship (i.e., the tendency of some politically active individuals to form their political opinions primarily in opposition to political parties they dislike) and subsequent affective polarization (i.e., the tendency for individuals who identify with one party to dislike and distrust those individuals from the other political party). Thus, due to their often negative attitudes, especially against the political opposition, extreme users are less likely to spread a message that is dominated by positivity rather than negativity (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018). ...
Article
In this paper, we examine which content characteristics lead to increased sharing of political information on social media, and which role political ideology has in user sharing behavior. More specifically, we investigate the impact of emotions and authority on sharing, as well as the moderating role of political extremity of social media users. We analyzed 10,141 political tweets, sent by 527 influencers between July 2019 and June 2020. The results reveal that content in which emotions are more prevalent than argument quality is more likely to be shared than content in which argument quality is prevalent. Perhaps surprisingly, we also show that content in which positive emotions are more prevalent than negative emotions is more likely to be shared than content in which negative emotions are prevalent. Moreover, authority (i.e., a dominant language style and a high number of followers) can lead to increased shares. Finally, we find that content in which positive emotions are more prevalent than negative emotions is less effective in increasing shares when users are located at the ideological extreme compared to the ideological center. On the one hand, we provide insights into how influencers in social media networks can be utilized for political campaigning. On the other hand, we provide insights into what makes users engage with political content from influencers that might contribute to political polarization on social media.
... O debate sobre antipartidarismo se consolidou quando os seus efeitos ficaram mais salientes com a ascensão, na década de 1990, da "nova direita" na Europa (POGUNTKE, 1996. Os estudos dividem--se entre, de um lado, a abordagem culturalista, com foco em atitudes antissistema, suas causas e consequências (POGUNTKE, 1996;POGUNTKE;SCARROW, 1996;TORCAL et al., 2002) e, de outro, um desdobramento do estudo sobre partidarismo, mais especificamente o partidarismo negativo (MAYER, 2017;McGREGOR et al., 2015;MEDEIROS;NOËL, 2014;ABRAMOWITZ;WEBSTER, 2018). ...
... O debate sobre antipartidarismo se consolidou quando os seus efeitos ficaram mais salientes com a ascensão, na década de 1990, da "nova direita" na Europa (POGUNTKE, 1996. Os estudos dividem--se entre, de um lado, a abordagem culturalista, com foco em atitudes antissistema, suas causas e consequências (POGUNTKE, 1996;POGUNTKE;SCARROW, 1996;TORCAL et al., 2002) e, de outro, um desdobramento do estudo sobre partidarismo, mais especificamente o partidarismo negativo (MAYER, 2017;McGREGOR et al., 2015;MEDEIROS;NOËL, 2014;ABRAMOWITZ;WEBSTER, 2018). ...
... A década seguinte (1990)(1991)(1992)(1993)(1994)(1995)(1996)(1997)(1998)(1999) teve seis artigos publicados na Contexto Internacional que tratavam diretamente da PEB (LAFER, 1990;LIMA, 1990;ALMEIDA, 1992;WROBEL, 1993;ARROIO, 1995;SENNES, 1998). Esse período foi inaugurado precisamente por um importante artigo da própria Lima, uma síntese de sua tese de doutorado defendida em 1987 na Vanderbilt University (EUA), intitulada Economia Política da Política Externa Brasileira: uma proposta de análise (LIMA, 1990). ...
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O propósito do capítulo é abordar a produção nacional e internacional sobre dois temas da agenda brasileira de política internacional no período de 2008 a 2018: os estudos sobre o Brasil e as instituições internacionais; e os estudos sobre o Brasil e as agendas internacionais e regionais de segurança. Na análise dessa produção, pretende-se identificar os referenciais teóricos e analíti- cos utilizados nas pesquisas, procurando estabelecer relações com o desenvolvimento da disciplina de Relações Internacionais no Brasil.
... The percentage of Americans expressing affective polarization-a marked difference in warmth towards co-partisans as opposed to the opposing partisans-has dramatically risen since the late 1970s (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018;Iyengar et al., 2012;Mason, 2015). Understanding the rise of partisan animus and its consequences has become a major priority for political scientists due to its negative implications for the functioning of democracy and society. ...
... Since 1964, ideological differences between the parties increased, increasing the overlap between ideological and partisan identities. In turn, this strengthened partisan identities, widening the difference between in-party and outparty affect (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018;Levendusky, 2009;Mason, 2015). Simultaneously, the parties diverged along demographic lines, leading to increased race-party and religion-party overlap that contributes to polarization in group affect (Ahler & Sood, 2018;Mason, 2016Mason, , 2018Mason & Wronski, 2018). ...
... This does not show up as higher affective polarization since the dips in in-party and out-party warmth are comparable. However, this could be a manifestation of a related concept-negative partisanship, which captures simultaneous negativity toward one's own party and the opposing party (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018). These results should be taken with caution, as they are somewhat weaker among Republicans and hold up less with APCI, but they are evidence of some generational imprint on partisan affect. ...
Article
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The continual rise of affective polarization in the United States harms trust in democratic institutions. Scholars cite processes of ideological and social sorting of the partisan coalitions in the electorate as contributing to the rise of affective polarization, but how do these processes relate to one another? Most scholarship implicitly assumes period effects—that people change their feelings toward the parties uniformly and contemporaneously as they sort. However, it is also possible that sorting and affective polarization link with one another as a function of age or cohort effects. In this paper, I estimate age, period and cohort effects on affective polarization, partisan strength, and ideological sorting. I find that affective polarization increases over time, but also as people age. Age-related increases in affective polarization occur as a function of increases in partisan strength, and for Republicans, social sorting. Meanwhile, sorting only partially explains period effects. These effects combine such that each cohort enters the electorate more affectively polarized than the last.
... While its origins are still disputed (Iyengar et al., 2019), a growing number of scholars suggest that interparty animosity is largely explained by voters' perceived ideological differences between themselves and out-partisans on a wide range of issues (Abramowitz and Webster, 2018;Rogowski and Sutherland, 2016). Drawing on traditional spatial models of party competition, studies in this line of work tend to treat ideology as one dimensional -measuring congruence between parties and voters or between political elites along the left-right ideological dimension (Bougher, 2017;Gidron et al., 2019;Rogowski and Sutherland, 2016). ...
... When being presented with information about a political candidate's policy preferences or about their party affiliation in experimental vignettes, voters also tend to react more strongly to ideology -especially if the policy positions shown were extreme (Lelkes, 2021). Taken together, this body of evidence suggests that, although relevant, partisan identity may only provide a '(noisy) cue' (Orr and Huber, 2020: 48) for the greater source of partisan animosity: perceived ideological distance (Abramowitz and Webster, 2018;Lelkes, 2021;Orr and Huber, 2020). ...
Article
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Research on the relationship between ideology and affective polarisation highlights ideological disagreement as a key driver of animosity between partisan groups. By operationalising disagreement on the left-right dimension, however, existing studies often overlook voter-party incongruence as a potential determinant of affective evaluations. How does incongruence on policy issues impact affective evaluations of mainstream political parties and their leaders? We tackle this question by analysing data from the British Election Study collected ahead of the 2019 UK General Election using an instrumental variable approach. Consistent with our expectations, we find that voter-party incongruence has a significant causal impact on affective evaluations. Perceived representational gaps between party and voter drive negative evaluations of the in-party and positive evaluations of the opposition, thus lowering affective polarisation overall. The results offer a more nuanced perspective on the role of ideological conflict in driving affective polarisation.
... A ccording to contemporary portrayals in the scholarly literature and the press, American political parties "hang together mainly out of sheer hatred of the other team, rather than a shared sense of purpose" 1 . In this view, the current state of partisanship is more negative than positive, and negativity is the primary driver of voter behaviour [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] . Negative partisanship has been defined in terms of affect as well as identity. ...
... Negative partisanship as group identity is based on the notion that people support a political party because of their opposition to the other party; it is thus negational identity. Researchers have argued that out-group dislike and negational identity drive political participation 6 (but see ref. 13 ), split-ticket voting 3 and opposition to bipartisanship 13 . ...
Article
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The dominant narrative among scholars and political pundits characterizes American partisanship as overwhelmingly negative, portraying citizens as more repelled by the opposing party than attached to their own party. To assess the valence of partisan identity, we use various measures collected from several new and existing nationally representative surveys and behavioural outcomes obtained from two experiments. Our findings consistently depart from the negative partisanship narrative. For the majority of Americans, partisanship is either equally positive and negative or more positive than negative. Only partisan leaners stand out as negative partisans. We pair these observational findings with experimental data that differentiate between positive group behaviour and negative group behaviour in the partisan context. We find that the behavioural manifestations of party identity similarly include both positive and negative biases in balance, reinforcing our conclusion that descriptions of partisanship as primarily negative are exaggerated.
... When considering social identities, a distinction can be made between in-group bias and out-group hostility (Tajfel and Turner, 1979). In the context of expressive partisan identity, the former is represented by "positive partisanship, " while the latter is represented by "negative partisanship, " capturing the idea that out-group hostility can exist independent of in-group bias, and vice versa (Abramowitz and Webster, 2018). For instance, an individual might choose to vote for Democrats primarily out of hostility toward the Republican Party, without necessarily having particularly positive feelings toward the Democratic Party. ...
... Nevertheless, there is evidence that the concepts of positive and negative partisanship are, indeed, separate. Abramowitz and Webster (2018) find that negative ratings of each party have risen in the electorate in recent years, while positive evaluations of each have remained relatively stable. Thus, strong negative partisanship does not necessitate strong positive partisanship, and vice versa, given the different directions the two measures have followed. ...
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Individuals in the United States appear increasingly willing to support and justify political violence. This paper therefore examines whether making partisan identities salient increases support for political violence. We embed priming manipulations in a sample of roughly 850 U.S. adults to investigate whether activating positive partisan identity, negative partisan identity, instrumental partisan identity, and American national identity might lead to differences in reported support for political violence. While we uncover no effects of priming various identities on support for political violence, we replicate and extend previous research on its correlates. Specifically, we demonstrate how various measures of partisan identity strength as well as negative personality traits are correlated with acceptance of political violence.
... But the opposite of truth to many of them is not falsehood; it is evil, iniquity and malignancy. We have seen hints of this from political science with observations that have been variously labelled as "negative partisanship" (Abramowitz and Webster 2018), affective partisanship (Iyengar and Krupenkin 2018), and "political sectarianism" (Finkel et al. 2020) in which political positionality today is more often based in the people one is opposed to rather than the issues one favors. ...
... Additionally, rather than being enthusiastically supportive of their party of choice, party preference is often a matter of identity politics (Green, Palmquist, and Schickler 2004;Groenendijk 2013). Although people are frequently dissatisfied with how their chosen party represents them, this results in more, not less, partisanship, as people feel greater hostility towards the opposite party than they do positive identification with their chosen party (Abramowitz and Webster 2018;Groenendijk 2018). The American public is thus sharply polarized, and not just through positive identification with one of the two major parties, but primarily through negative partisanship towards the party they oppose. ...
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This article investigates Donald Trump’s performances of right-wing populism, contrasting these with the professional theatrical practice of US political speechwriting. The public performances of US presidents are theatrical constructions in a broad conceptual interpretation of the term: as speechwriters work to construct the presidential persona and the national audience, they abstract and fictionalize both the presidential self and the national public. The resulting presidential persona is a theatrical construction designed to appeal to an idealized national community. Much of the appeal of Trump’s populism, this article posits, lies in his efforts to eschew the professionalized theatricality of US presidential performance. Drawing on in-depth interviews the author conducted with US political speechwriters – primarily presidential speechwriters spanning administrations and campaigns from Reagan to Obama – the article seeks to account for the counter-theatrical appeal of the Trump presidency and of performances of right-wing populism more broadly. Building on the speechwriters’ specialist knowledge, the historical conditions that have allowed performances of right-wing populism to flourish are explored. The article interrogates right-wing populism’s exploitation of institutional distrust as a dominant political affect and its undermining of integrative concepts of the nation in favour of a definition of ‘the people’ in terms of white, patriarchal nativism.
... Polarization and animosity toward opponents (especially miscalibrated animosity based on misperceptions) could threaten the democratic process in several ways. First, we know that ingroup affiliation can lead people to support policieseven those they would normally reject on principleif endorsed by their party (Cohen, 2003), often more out of disdain for opponents than liking for the position (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018). ...
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Americans’ hostility toward political opponents has intensified to a degree not fully explained by actual ideological polarization. We propose that political animosity may be based particularly on partisans’ overestimation of the prevalence of extreme, egregious views held by only a minority of opponents but imagined to be widespread. Across five studies (N= 4993; three preregistered), we examine issue extremity as an antecedent of false polarization. Both liberals and conservatives report high agreement with their party’s moderate issues but low agreement with the extreme issues associated with their side. As expected, false polarization did not occur for all issues. Partisans were fairly accurate in estimating opponents’ moderate issues (even underestimating agreement somewhat). In contrast, partisans consistently overestimated the prevalence of their opponents’ extreme, egregious political attitudes. (Over)estimation of political opponents’ agreement with extreme issues predicted cross-partisan dislike, which in turn predicted unwillingness to engage with opponents, foreclosing opportunities to correct misperceptions (Studies 2-4b). Participants explicitly attributed their dislike of political opponents to opponents’ views on extreme issues more than moderate issues (Study 3). Partisans also reported greater unwillingness to publicly voice their views on their side’s extreme (relative to moderate) issues, a self-silencing which may perpetuate misconceptions (Studies 1, 2, 4a&b). Time spent watching partisan media (controlling political orientation) predicted greater overestimations of the prevalence of extreme views (Studies 2, 4a&b). Salience of opponents’ malevolence mattered: first reflecting on opponents’ (presumed nefarious) election tactics made partisans on both sides subsequently more accepting of unfair tactics from their own side (Studies 4a&b).
... Relevant to the study at hand, negative personalisation, could serve as a similar motivation as negative partisanship does in US voting behaviour (Abramowitz and Webster, 2018) (Abramowitz and Webster, 2018), in that voters are motivated by instrumental antipathy towards one outcome, rather than sincere support of their vote choice. In sum, we can expect party leaders have an independent effect on referendum voting. ...
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Referenda provide the opportunity for voters to express political economic protest and provide additional ways to support parties they vote for in elections. Alternatively, referenda also provide voters a chance to express their policy references in a way that does not affect which party will lead the government. The rejection of the 2016 Italian Constitutional referendum by 60% of voters and the approval the 2020 Italian Constitutional Referendum by 70% of voters could be a result of changing political economic conditions, underlying partisanship, or a change in approval of the reforms contained within the referendum. The article examines these possibilities in turn and then in a multivariate analysis. First, the overall change in economic discontent, satisfaction with the governing coalition, and belief in the content of the reforms between 2016 and 2020 will be examined. We also examine the how voters of each of the parties in the 2018 general election shifted on these variables. Then individual level analysis of consistent voters and switchers will assess the relative strength of partisanship, economic, political, and referendum-specific factors in convincing voters to switch their vote., we find that referendum-specific factors had the strongest predictive power. voters approved of the contents that would reduce the number of politicians in Italy. Our results contribute to the studies on second-order elections where voters are allowed for greater expressive preferences.
... Indeed, partisan identification is more strongly correlated with how individuals approach issues than are factors like race and ethnicity, gender, or level of education (Milligan, October 21, 2019;Pew Research Center, October 5, 2017). The 2020 presidential election illustrated an increase in 'negative partisanship,' with voters more motivated by fear and dislike for the opposite party than by a shared sense of purpose in their own (Abramowitz and Webster 2018;Iyengar and Krupenkin 2018;Klein 2020). Some scholars have taken to describing the two parties as legislative 'teams,' with star players engaged in a political competition (Theriault 2008;Grynaviski 2010). ...
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Bipartisan consensus on many US domestic and foreign policy priorities has seemingly collapsed in recent decades, and political parties have become qideologically polarized and divided. While some contend that these dynamics are narrowing the space for congressional foreign policy innovation, we argue that factionalism often fosters creativity in the foreign policy process. Specifically, this article explores the role of ‘free agent’ progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans in foreign policy decision-making. These members at the ideological extremes of their parties are finding common ground in anti-establishment views and concerns about executive excess, and they are aligning to challenge traditional foreign policy positions. This paper conducts a plausibility probe of a model of congressional foreign policy free agency based upon roll call voting on war powers-related decisions in the Obama and Trump administrations. During both presidencies, our findings suggest that the free agency model has predictive value for foreign policy maneuvering and offers a non-traditional way of thinking about contemporary US foreign policy development.
... The United States continues to become more polarized along partisan lines. Not only are Democrats and Republicans separating further on ideology (Pew Research 2017), but they are also growing in their dislike for each other (Abramowitz and Webster 2018;Finkel et al. 2020). Political polarization increases the strength and importance of political identities, which motivates partisans to process information that supports their own group while denigrating their outgroup (Van Bavel and Pereira 2018). ...
Article
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Growing levels of political polarization in the United States have been associated with political homogeneity in the personal networks of American adults. The 2016 Presidential Election in the United States was a polarizing event that may have caused further loss of connections to alters who had different politics. Kinship may protect against loss of politically different ties. Additionally, loss of ties with different political views may be particularly pronounced among LGBTQ+ people as they are more likely to be impacted by public policy decisions compared to their heterosexual counterparts. We analyzed two waves of the University of California, Berkeley Social Networks Study's (UCNets) Main Sample and LGBTQ+ Oversample of older adults that occurred in 2015 and 2017, which provided an opportunity to assess alter loss after the 2016 Presidential Election. When evaluating all adults, we found that politically different alters were more likely to reflect kin ties than partner or friend ties. We also found that politically different kin are less likely to be dropped suggesting that kinship acts as a moderating effect of different political views on alter loss. LGBTQ+ respondents were more likely to drop kin alters with different political views than their cisgender heterosexual counterparts. We discuss the implications these results have for political polarization interventions as well as the social networks impact politics can have on LGBTQ+ individuals.
... The U.S. political landscape has been witnessed to undergo the process of political polarization (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018;Nithyanand, Schaffner, & Gill, 2017). Competition between the parties evolved (Robinson & Mullinix, 2016) such that Democratic and Republican politicians grew more distant from each other and more ideologically coherent in terms of values (Fiorina & Abrams, 2008;Robinson & Mullinix, 2016). ...
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This study applied the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) in political crisis communication amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, a “sticky crisis” that is longitudinal and politicized, thereby involving multiple challenges and complexities. Considering the critical role of Twitter in the information transmissions during the ongoing pandemic, this study considered politicians’ tweets as a proxy to access their crisis communication strategies and conducted a systematic content analysis to critically evaluate COVID-19 crisis communication strategies of two politicians, Trump and Cuomo, according to their perceived day-to-day circumstances during COVID-19. Three strategies categorized by SCCT, deny, diminish, and bolstering, surfaced with significance for both Trump and Cuomo. A new strategy specific to the political context, cohesion, was also identified. In addition, significant differentiation was observed in the strategic narratives between Trump and Cuomo, which reveals the evolving political dynamics in disease representation and crisis messaging. For example, Trump emphasized social exclusion and accusations of Democrats whilst Cuomo stressed care for vulnerable and minority groups and compassion delivery. Moreover, deny strategy, especially accusing other races, significantly boosted audience engagement for Trump. The results are discussed in relation to the idiosyncrasy of the complex COVID-19 pandemic and crisis communication in the political realm. Our findings demonstrate practical implications including online crisis messaging recommendations that foster public trust during politicized and polarized health emergencies and cultivate grounds for information exchange beyond partisan barriers.
... Linking negative voting to the climate of political aversion in American society, the analysis reveals that comparative candidate evaluations are the main factor associated with negative voting in the 2020 US Presidential election. The likelihood of negative voting is higher whenever out-candidate hate outweighs incandidate love, while party-based considerations appear less related-an indication supported by recent studies (Abramowitz & Webster, 2018). ...
Article
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About one third of American voters cast a vote more ‘against’ than ‘for’ a candidate in the 2020 Presidential election. This pattern, designated by negative voting, has been initially understood by rational choice scholarship as a product of cognitive dissonance and/or retrospective evaluations. This article revisits this concept through the affective polarization framework in the light of the rise of political sectarianism in American society. Based on an original CAWI survey fielded after the 2020 election, our regression analysis demonstrates that the predicted probability of casting a negative vote significantly increases among individuals for whom out-candidate hate outweighs in-candidate love. Negative voting is less prevalent among partisans as their higher levels of in-group affection can offset out-group contempt. By asserting the enduring relevance of negative voting in American presidential elections, we aim at stimulating further research and discussion of its implications for democratic representation.
... But it is unclear whether the simple dichotomy of liberals (more negative toward nuclear energy) and conservatives (more positive toward nuclear energy) still exists today; the literature also too often ignores how individuals who are more politically moderate view nuclear energy. While we know that political moderates or independents are a stable or perhaps growing proportion of the political electorate (e.g., Dalton, 2013;Hill & Tausanovitch, 2015), most studies of political perceptions focus more on the perceptions of political liberals and political conservatives or Democrats and Republicans (e.g., Abramowitz & Webster, 2018;Mason, 2015). Of the studies that compare moderates to the more political extreme (Lammers et al., 2017), there are suggestions that moderates view the political domain in more complex terms compared to more committed ideologues. ...
Article
Political ideology is an increasingly powerful force in support of public policy. Historically, nuclear energy has found more support among political conservatives. This study updates the literature on political ideology and support for nuclear energy by examining how political ideology is associated with perceptions of nuclear energy and trust of nuclear information sources. After excluding participants with incomplete data, and participants within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, the analytical sample size for the analysis examining political ideology and perceptions of nuclear energy was 4153. The analytical sample includes a total of 1035 participants within a 50‐mile radius of INL, 710 participants from within Idaho who lived further than 50 miles from INL, 1899 participants from other states (more than 50 miles from a nuclear reactor), and 509 Non‐Idaho participants living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. Logistic regression was used to determine how political ideology was associated with perceptions of nuclear energy and trust in different sources regarding radioactive waste, after controlling for demographics and location. While liberal participants near INL were less favorable towards nuclear energy, and more trusting in impact scientists to tell the truth about radioactive waste than their conservative counterparts, this was not consistent across the US. Our findings reveal the complexity of political ideology and the perceptions of nuclear issues and how proximity influences perceptions. The perceptions of political moderates were particularly important in providing a more complex understanding of political ideology and nuclear energy issues. 政治意识形态是支持公共政策的日益强大的力量。核能历来在政治保守派中得到更多的支持。本研究通过分析政治意识形态如何与核能感知及核信息源信任相联系,进而对有关政治意识形态和支持核能的文献作贡献。在排除数据不完整的参与者和核反应堆50英里范围内的参与者后,用于分析政治意识形态和核能感知的分析样本量为4153。分析样本包括爱达荷国家实验室(INL)50英里半径范围内的1035名参与者,710名居住在距离INL50英里以外地区的参与者,1899名来自其他州的参与者(居住地点距离核反应堆超过50英里),以及509居住在核反应堆50英里范围内的非爱达荷州参与者。在控制人口统计因素和位置因素后,使用逻辑回归,确定政治意识形态如何与核能感知以及“对关于放射性废物的不同来源的信任”相联系。尽管INL附近的自由派参与者不太支持核能,并且比保守派更相信有影响力的科学家所传播的放射性废物真相,但这并非在美国各地都如此。我们的研究结果揭示了政治意识形态的复杂性、核问题感知、以及邻近性如何影响感知。政治温和派的感知对“提供关于政治意识形态与核问题的更复杂的理解”一事尤为重要。 La ideología política es una fuerza cada vez más poderosa en apoyo de las políticas públicas. Históricamente, la energía nuclear ha encontrado más apoyo entre los conservadores políticos. Este estudio actualiza la literatura sobre ideología política y apoyo a la energía nuclear al examinar cómo la ideología política está asociada con las percepciones de la energía nuclear y la confianza en las fuentes de información nuclear. Después de excluir a los participantes con datos incompletos y los participantes dentro de las 50 millas de un reactor nuclear, el tamaño de la muestra analítica para el análisis que examinó la ideología política y las percepciones de la energía nuclear fue de 4153. La muestra analítica incluye un total de 1035 participantes dentro de un radio de 50 millas de INL, 710 participantes de Idaho que vivían a más de 50 millas de INL, 1899 participantes de otros estados (a más de 50 millas de un reactor nuclear) y 509 Participantes que no sean de Idaho y que vivan a menos de 50 millas de un reactor nuclear. Se utilizó la regresión logística para determinar cómo se asociaba la ideología política con las percepciones de la energía nuclear y la confianza en diferentes fuentes con respecto a los desechos radiactivos, después de controlar la demografía y la ubicación. Si bien los participantes liberales cerca de INL eran menos favorables a la energía nuclear y más confiados en los científicos de impacto para decir la verdad sobre los desechos radiactivos que sus contrapartes conservadoras, esto no fue consistente en los EE. UU. Nuestros hallazgos revelan la complejidad de la ideología política y las percepciones de los problemas nucleares y cómo la proximidad influye en las percepciones. Las percepciones de los políticos moderados fueron particularmente importantes para proporcionar una comprensión más compleja de la ideología política y las cuestiones nucleares.
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Leaders without Partisans examines the changing impact of party leader evaluations on voters’ behavior in parliamentary elections. The decline of traditional social cleavages, the pervasive mediatization of the political scene, and the media’s growing tendency to portray politics in “personalistic” terms all led to the hypothesis that leaders matter more for the way individuals vote and, often, the way elections turn out. This study offers the most comprehensive longitudinal assessment of this hypothesis so far. The authors develop a composite theoretical framework – based on currently disconnected strands of research from party, media, and electoral studies – and test it empirically on the most encompassing set of national election study datasets ever assembled. The labor-intensive harmonization effort produces an unprecedented dataset pooling information for a total of 129 parliamentary elections conducted between 1961 and 2018 in 14 West European countries. The book provides evidence of the longitudinal growth in leader effects on vote choice and on turnout. The process of partisan dealignment and changes in the structure of mass communication in Western societies are identified as the main drivers of personalization in voting behavior.
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We develop a broadly applicable class of coevolving latent space network with attractors (CLSNA) models, where nodes represent individual social actors assumed to lie in an unknown latent space, edges represent the presence of a specified interaction between actors, and attractors are added in the latent level to capture the notion of attractive and repulsive forces. The models are estimated using Bayesian inference. We apply the CLSNA models to the question of affective polarization, which expects Republicans and Democrats to cohere, favor and interact with their own party and to distance, repel and interact less with the opposing party. Using two different longitudinal social networks from the social media platforms, Twitter and Reddit, we investigate the relative contributions of positive (attractive) and negative (repulsive) affect among political elites and the public, respectively. Our goal is to uncover and quantify polarization -- and disentangle the positive and negative forces within and between parties, in particular. Our analysis confirms the existence of affective polarization among both political elites and the public. While positive partisanship remains dominant across the full period of study for both Democratic elites and the public, a notable decrease in Republicans' strength of in-group affect since 2015 has led to the dominance of negative partisanship in their behavior.
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This article builds on work by Devine and Kopko (2021) and Lacy and Burden (1999) who estimated a probit model of candidate choice from nationally representative survey data to determine the second choice of third-party voters. Using this model on 2020 election data, we show that the Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson probably cost Donald Trump victory in at least two states: Arizona and Georgia. Additionally, the popular-vote margin enjoyed by Joe Biden could have been between 260,000 and 525,000 fewer votes, using conservative estimates. The motivation for this article is to provide contrary evidence for two main misconceptions. First, that third-party candidates are “spoiling” elections for the Democrats. Our evidence clearly shows that third parties have the potential to hurt either of the two main parties; however, in 2020, it was Donald Trump who was hurt the most, although not consequentially. Second, some reformers believe that ranked-choice voting benefits the Democrats; again, we show that—all else being equal—in the 2020 presidential election, it was the Republicans who would have benefited by the change in rules because the majority of third-party votes went to the Libertarian candidate, whose voters prefer Republicans over Democrats 60% to 32%.
Article
Partisans rarely punish their party at the polls for violating democratic norms or cheating in elections. However, we know little about the underlying reasons. I examine why partisans rarely sanction in-party malpractice. Using pre-registered survey experiments in Denmark and Mexico, I examine the different steps in how partisans adjust their views in response to revelations of electoral malpractice and distinguish between two substantively different explanations. Do pervasive biases prevent partisans from viewing in-party malpractice as illegitimate? Or, do partisans accurately update their views when learning about malpractice but refrain from voting against their party? The analysis demonstrates that partisans do not apply double standards when evaluating malpractice. However, although partisans punish in-party malpractice, they hold opposing parties in such low esteem that even revelations of malpractice do not change their minds. These findings contribute to our understanding of how partisans think about electoral malpractice and political malfeasance more broadly.
Article
While generally understood as an individual-level effect, we argue that reinforcement effects—or the strengthening of existing party loyalties through media exposure—might also play a role in shaping aggregate-level outcomes. Looking across eight presidential elections from 1900 to 1928, this study provides evidence that partisan newspaper circulation was significantly linked to two-party vote share at the county level. Counties with higher circulation rates of Republican dailies had a smaller percentage of votes cast for the Democratic presidential candidate, while a weaker positive association was found between the circulation of Democratic leaning dailies and Democratic vote in non-Southern counties. Some variance in this effect was observed across elections, with some evidence suggesting a weaker association between circulation and vote share as newspapers moved away from overtly partisan content toward a more professional tone. Further, some of the relationships were reciprocal with votes influencing partisan circulation. Results suggest that greater attention be given to the role of the political media environment and how citizens engage with it when understanding macro-level political outcomes.
Article
This study aims to examine the influence of Republican and Democratic partisan television news on attitudes toward candidates for president immediately following the 2016 general election. Using two waves of the 2016 American National Election Study, we examine feelings toward Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton before and after the election. Exposure to Republican partisan media did have a significant negative effect on feelings toward Hillary Clinton, even when controlling for party identification, ideology, and feelings toward Clinton before the election. Consumption of Democratic partisan television, however, had no influence on feelings toward Donald Trump. Further fragmentation and the expansion of partisan media has—and will continue to—benefit Republicans over Democrats.
Article
Recent scholarship on the effect of candidate visits in presidential elections has found that appearances by candidates appear to mobilize both supporters and opponents. Specifically, in the 2016 presidential election, donations to campaigns of the visiting presidential candidates increased, but—in the case of Republican nominee Donald Trump—so did donations to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. In this paper, we extend this research by assessing the effect of visits on campaign donations by presidential and vice presidential candidates in the 2020 election. We find evidence that visits by Donald Trump and Kamala Harris had strong mobilizing and counter-mobilizing effects, increasing donations to both campaigns. We find weak evidence that visits by Joe Biden increased contributions to his campaign, but we do not find evidence that his visits had a counter-mobilizing effect, and we find no evidence that visits by Mike Pence affected donations in either direction.
Article
Background Research on the social bases of environmental concern has established robust findings across various sociodemographic characteristics. This includes interaction effects between education and political identity, as well as particularly low concern among supporters of President Trump. Objectives Using 2016 survey data, we extend such research to examine U.S. public support for four climate-change mitigation strategies: investment in renewable energy, lifestyle changes, a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and cap-and-trade. Methods We perform ordered logit regression of belief in anthropogenic climate change and support for these strategies on several key independent variables. Results Support follows some of the patterns expected for environmental concern generally but with new details. Trump support is a dominant predictor, and education × party interactions show significant variations in levels of support. Conclusion This provides important insights for public policy decision making related to climate change by considering which characteristics are most predictive of support for specific strategies.
Article
In the wake of past U.S. Presidential elections, voters supporting the losing side have shown a social pain response. In this paper we demonstrate that these findings held again in the 2020 election, helping to confirm that it is the voting experience itself that matters (since the 2020 losing‐side voters were winning‐side voters in the previous election). In prior elections, this pattern was most evident among strong positive partisans; we report mixed support for this in the 2020 election. Using a new graphical measure of negative partisanship, we were able to compare the experiences of negative versus positive partisans. Strong negative partisanship appears to act as a ‘hedge’ by buffering voters who wind up on the losing side of an election from social pain.
Article
Objective Prevailing theories posit some party activists are amateurs, driven primarily by purposive benefits, while other activists are professionals, motivated mostly by material benefits. The decline of patronage and the rise of polarization suggest re-examining the relevancy of this distinction. Methods The study uses data from a 2019 survey of 1,060 local party chairs in the United States, covering 49 states. Results Most respondents are motivated by purposive benefits, while career motivations are relatively rare. Those who do derive material benefits are only slightly more centrist than their peers and are no more pragmatic and no less likely to derive purposive benefits. A substantial segment of local chairs are interested in seeking elective office, but the motivations of these individuals with ambitions connected to party activism are dominated by purposive benefits as much as those of the unambitious. Conclusion The study demonstrates the professional–amateur typology no longer accurately characterizes local party activists.
Chapter
Whether or not the United States provides the specific leadership goods required to maintain a liberal international order depends, among other factors, on social relationships in American domestic politics. This chapter argues that domestic structures largely determine if and what kind of hegemony the United States provides to international relations. Most importantly, domestic factors shape the American response to the challenge of international interdependence. A hegemonic power can either internalize and absorb costs of sensibility and vulnerability interdependence or it can deflect, or at least delay, cost internalization and thereby externalize interdependence costs. The Trump administration pursued an externalization type of hegemony that cut out several of the key elements of international liberalism and burdened other states with the costs of public good provisions in international affairs. How can one explain this change of hegemony from previous US administrations? The chapter argues that the Trump administration was both, a response to changing social relationships in domestic politics and its driver. It identifies the following sources of changing state-society relationships: first, increasing fragmentation and polarization intensified social cleavages. Second, a state increasingly weakened by separation of power arrangements is exposed to a strong society that effectively pursues private interests by claiming them to be public ones. And, third, a new dominating coalition in the Republican Party replaced the old foreign policy establishment and drove an agenda of cost externalization. The chapter concludes that, taken together, these domestic factors transform American hegemony, where the previous practice of internalizing interdependence costs has changed to one of externalizing them.
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Resumo A polarização e o partidarismo acentuado têm advindo cada vez mais da ordenação social (social sorting), do que das atitudes em relação às issues. Os estereótipos que acompanham essas definições são exemplos de tal dimensão. O presente trabalho traz um levantamento para comparação entre perspectivas que apontam existir polarização no público em democracias mais consolidadas. Incorporando descobertas recentes de Mason (2016, 2018a,2018b) e Lee (2020), esse artigo aponta que a ordenação social, mais do que a adesão ideológica, é a principal responsável pelo grave contexto de polarização afetiva em que as democracias ocidentais mais consolidadas estão inseridas. Conclui-se que os resultados dos trabalhos acima mencionados apontam que a dimensão afetiva, baseada na identidade, é um elemento a se considerar como agenda de pesquisa para o estudo de tão estimulante fenômeno. O artigo também aponta algumas contribuições que observam a existência da polarização afetiva e do partidarismo negativo no Brasil. Palavras-chave partidarismo negativo; polarização afetiva; social sorting; Partidarismo. PARTNERSHIP AS A SOCIAL ORDERING: LILLIANA MASON'S CONTRIBUTION Abstract Polarization and accentuated partisanship have come more and more from social sorting, rather than from attitudes towards issues. The stereotypes that accompany these definitions are examples of such a dimension. The present work brings a survey for comparison between perspectives that indicate that there is polarization in the public in more consolidated democracies. Incorporating recent findings by Mason (2016, 2018a, 2018b) and Lee (2020), this article points out that social order, more than ideological adherence, is primarily responsible for the serious context of affective polarization in which the most consolidated Western democracies are inserted. It is concluded that the results of the aforementioned works indicate that the affective dimension, based on identity, is an element to be considered as a research agenda for the study of such a stimulating phenomenon. The article also points out some contributions that observe the existence of affective polarization and negative partisanship in Brazil.
Article
Scholars have extensively studied whether campaign attack advertisements –messages that attack individual candidates– mobilize or demobilize voters with mixed results. We argue that group-oriented partisan affect in campaigns –messages about the parties in general– is just as important given increasing trends of affective polarization. We use two survey experiments, one right before the 2020 presidential election and the other before the subsequent Georgia Senate runoff election, to examine the effects of partisan rhetoric on several measures of civic engagement. In the presidential election, neither positive partisan, negative partisan, nor personal apartisan appeals had a statistically significant effect on voters’ enthusiasm, likelihood to volunteer, or likelihood to seek out more information about engaging in the election. In the second study, negative partisan appeals led registered voters in Georgia to report much higher levels of enthusiasm about their preferred candidate, but this result was driven by Republicans only. The findings contribute new insights about electoral context and asymmetric affective polarization to the literature documenting the mobilizing effects of negativity in campaigns.
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Social media has become a common feature in American politics, with more frequent use among the masses and elites alike. With this increased salience, researchers have explored various aspects of social media use and its impact on political outcomes. While we know a great deal about elite adoption and use of social media platforms, we know comparatively less about why some of these social media messages ‘go viral,’ while others receive little to no attention. Drawing on research from the political science literature on emotional appeals, as well as work in marketing and psychology, we argue that elite messages will spread when they contain strong emotional language. Using both human and automated coding of senators’ tweets, we demonstrate that elite messages that are more negative and those that contain political attacks are more likely to spread on social media. Our findings suggest that politicians have an incentive to engage in more negativity online, which might further increase affective polarization in American politics.
Article
To what extent do national partisan cues exert influence over local voting behavior? Despite being an “immigrant welcoming city,” in November, 2019, Tucson, Arizona, voters rejected Prop. 205—the Tucson Families Free and Together Initiative. We leverage theories of elite partisan cues to explain why voters in a progressive city voted against such an initiative. In contrast to Democratic support for sanctuary cities at the national level, we argue that mixed cues from local Democratic elites contributed significantly to a surprising rejection of the initiative. Using aggregate-level data and a framing experiment, we find that the local political environment split Democratic votes (50% favored, 50% opposed) while keeping Republican voters—who received consistent elite cues of opposition—uniformly against the proposition. This study illustrates how local partisan elite cues can shape ballot initiative voting outcomes, even to the point of overriding negative partisanship and national co-partisan consensus on the same issue.
Article
Moving from primary opponents to presidential ticket partners requires negotiation and strategy. Yet no work has systematically tracked the evolution of how two separate campaigns rhetorically become one. Rooted in partisan appeals, descriptive and policy representation, and ticket balancing research, this study employs two computer‐assisted content analytic methods to Kamala Harris and Joe Biden's tweets during the 2020 U.S. presidential primary and general election. Shifting between campaign phases, Harris did not rhetorically engage in ticket balancing or emphasize her qualifications, favoring other techniques instead to support Biden. Biden's messaging remained largely consistent yet showed some accommodations to emerging contexts.
Article
Two parallel processes structure American politics in the current moment: partisan polarization and the increasing linkage between racial attitudes and issue preferences of all sorts. We develop a novel theory that roots these two trends in historical changes in party coalitions. Changing racial compositions of the two major parties led to the formation of racialized images about Democrats and Republicans in people’s minds—and these images now structure Americans’ partisan loyalties and policy preferences. We test this theory in three empirical studies. First, using the American National Election Studies we trace the growing racial gap in party coalitions as well as the increasing overlap between racial and partisan affect. Then, in two original survey studies we directly measure race–party schemas and explore their political consequences. We demonstrate that race–party schemas are linked to partisan affect and issue preferences—with clear implications for the recent developments in U.S. politics.
Article
Some primary voters cast their ballot for a candidate they do not most prefer in hopes that doing so will increase their party's chances of winning the general election. However, the emergence of party “outsider” candidates challenges prevailing assumptions about the persuasive pull of electability arguments on voter decision making. In this project, we analyze whether and when supporters of “outsider” candidates resolve strategic dilemmas relative to supporters of “insider” candidates. We administer survey experiments to Republicans and Democrats immediately before the 2016 and 2020 primaries, respectively. Although voters in both parties are willing to vote strategically, there are critical differences when it comes to the loyalty primary voters feel to outsider primary candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Strategic voting decisions are not based merely on electability, particularly in the case of “outsider” candidates. Scholars should integrate additional factors into future work on voter behavior in primaries.
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Anthropogenic climate change presents an immediate threat, necessitating a rapid shift in climate change relevant behaviors and public policies. A robust literature has identified a number of individual-level determinants of climate change attitudes and behaviors. In particular, political orientations and self-transcendent values are amongst the most consistent and substantive predictors. But, political orientations and individual values do not operate in isolation of each other, and rather are deeply related constructs. Accordingly, this analysis focuses on identifying the direct and interactive effects of political orientations and human values on climate change attitudes and behaviors. Adopting cross-national data from 16 Western European states (2016 ESS), we find that when in alignment, the effect of human values on climate change concern and policy support is amplified by political orientations. The moderating effect of political orientations is most substantive for self-transcendence (positive) and conservation (negative) values.
Article
As American democracy remains in crisis, reform proposals proliferate. I make two contributions to the debate over how to respond to the current crisis. First, I organize reform proposals into three main categories: moderation, realignment, and transformation. I then argue why transformation is necessary, given the deep structural problems of American democracy. Only reforms that fundamentally shake up the political coalitions and electoral incentives can break the escalating two-party doom loop of hyperpartisanship that is destroying the foundations of American democracy.
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Resumo: Este levantamento se propõe a analisar estudos de grande vulto acadêmico acerca do fenômeno Trump e da direita populista nos Estados Unidos, a fim de que se possa compará-los com estudos recentes que objetivam explicar as mudanças no jogo político brasileiro, desde a eleição de Jair Bolsonaro. Dalton (2018) considera o elemento do realinhamento, partindo de uma teoria das clivagens de caráter bidimensional, para pensar o crescimento da direita populista nos países de democracia mais afluente. Já Abramowitz (2018), aponta o ressentimento racial e o partidarismo negativo como fatores de destaque. A abordagem de Lilliana Mason (2016, 2018a, 2018b) enfatiza que a ordenação social, mais do que a adesão ideológica e partidária, é a principal responsável pelo grave contexto de polarização afetiva. Por fim, apresenta-se uma análise entre alguns estudos brasileiros, a fim de compará-los aos três estudos norte-americanos. Nesse sentido, destacam-se-para a realidade brasileira-a pertinência da abordagem de Mason, a especificidade do partidarismo negativo, bem como a importância de aprofundar estudos sobre clivagens políticas como as de Moreno (2019) e de Dalton (2018).
Article
It has been well established that controversial issue discussions are an integral component to a high-quality civic education. However, as the United States has become increasingly politically polarized, teachers have become more hesitant to engage students in discussions of controversial political issues. Two decades worth of literature on teaching controversial issues has shown that a primary factor in determining whether teachers will engage students in controversial issue discussions is whether they feel supported by their school administrators. Yet, school leaders have rarely been the focus of civic education efforts. This article seeks to bridge that divide by first providing a review of the research showing the importance of engaging with controversy in K-12 education and the influence of school leadership on that process and then ending with implications for school administrators who wish to support teachers who broach controversy in their classrooms.
Article
Growing attitudinal and affective differences across party lines and increasing social polarization are often attributed to the strengthening of partisanship as a social identity. Scholars have paid less attention to personal preferences as a contributor to these phenomena. Our focus is on how citizens’ policy beliefs—their operational ideologies—are associated with their views of partisan groups. We examine our perspective with two studies. In the first, we find that the attribution of ideologically extreme political views to an individual's peer significantly reduces interest in interpersonal interaction but find limited evidence that partisan group membership alone induces social polarization. In the second, we show that citizens’ policy views are strongly associated with their perceptions of their own partisan group as well as their counterpartisans. Together, our results have important implications for understanding the consequences of increased polarization and partisan antipathy in contemporary politics.
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Political communication scholars who study the persuasive effects of political advertising often assume that the relationship between advertising volume and vote choice is linear. Even though the product advertising literature has long recognized that advertising has both “wear in” and “wear out” effects, few political communication scholars consider this possibility. This study explains why it is both normatively and empirically important to determine the precise relationship between advertising and vote choice. We then use data from two published studies to investigate inductively how persuasion effects vary with different television advertising levels. The findings suggest that political advertisements do indeed have both “wear-in” and “wear-out” effects. We conclude by investigating three ways to model advertising effects in a more parsimonious manner and settle on log transforming the measure of advertising as the preferred method. Supplemental data for this article is available online at at the publisher’s website.
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What explains party preference? Ideology and values do but these explanations are undertheorized. We offer grid-group cultural theory (CT) to provide a theory of ideology and values to explain party preference. We aim to demonstrate the value of an operationalization of CT that includes rejection of cultural bias (rejection of political values and beliefs) to explain party preference. Our study builds on research that recognizes the importance of negative partisanship and of rejecting cultural biases and other values in party choice. We analyze the influence of cultural biases on party preference in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. We find that respondents’ top two cultural biases explain up to a third of the variation in respondents’ party support in these Nordic multi-party systems and that rejection of cultural biases is an important determinant of party preference. We discuss how our analysis can be extended to other party systems including those with only two major parties.
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Partisanship and polarization lend themselves to the problem of demonizing, where citizens construct narratives about ideological opponents. These demonizing narratives pose a danger to democratic politics, as they can prevent consensus and compromise and possibly even invite violence. In thinking about how to combat demonization, I turn to Aristotle’s virtue ethics and the particular virtues of “friendliness,” “truthfulness,” and “wittiness.” These “conversational virtues” govern how we ought to interact within social contexts. By looking to these conversational virtues, we can determine how to leverage ethical principles not traditionally associated with political institutions.
Book
There is little doubt that increasing polarization over the last decade has transformed the American political landscape. In The Other Divide, Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan challenge the nature and extent of that polarization. They find that more than party, Americans are divided by involvement in politics. On one side is a group of Americans who are deeply involved in politics and very expressive about their political views; on the other side is a group much less involved in day-to-day political outcomes. While scholars and journalists have assumed that those who are most vocal about their political views are representative of America at large, they are in fact a relatively small group whose voices are amplified by the media. By considering the political differences between the deeply involved and the rest of the American public, Krupnikov and Ryan present a broader picture of the American electorate than the one that often appears in the news.
Article
There is little doubt that increasing polarization over the last decade has transformed the American political landscape. In The Other Divide, Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan challenge the nature and extent of that polarization. They find that more than party, Americans are divided by involvement in politics. On one side is a group of Americans who are deeply involved in politics and very expressive about their political views; on the other side is a group much less involved in day-to-day political outcomes. While scholars and journalists have assumed that those who are most vocal about their political views are representative of America at large, they are in fact a relatively small group whose voices are amplified by the media. By considering the political differences between the deeply involved and the rest of the American public, Krupnikov and Ryan present a broader picture of the American electorate than the one that often appears in the news.
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Inter-public conflict has largely been neglected in PR research. When left to fester, such conflict may perpetuate prejudice, injustice, inequality, and other societal ills. From a PR standpoint, organizations may find it increasingly difficult to operate in the resulting climate of hostility. This piece aims to shift focus from managing direct, organization-public conflict to navigating indirect, inter-public conflict, thus broadening conflict management perspectives. Based on contingency and social identity theories, we test the dual orientation conflict model (DOCM) in the field of government public relations. The model posits two dimensions (embracing/excluding and in-group/out-group) and categorizes four types of conflict orientation (adaptation, in-group adoption, out-group adoption, and avoidance). The proposed four-factor model, comprised of 16 items, was found to be reliable and valid in an online survey of 2498 South Korean citizens across different conflictual problems. Theoretical and strategic implications are discussed.
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Partisanship in the United States in the contemporary era is largely characterized by feelings of anger and negativity. While the behavioral consequences of this new style of partisanship have been explored at some length, less is known about how the anger that is at the root of this growing partisan antipathy affects Americans’ views of the national government. In this paper, I utilize data from the 2012 American National Election Studies to show that higher levels of anger are associated with a greater level of distrust in government across a variety of metrics. I then present evidence from a survey experiment on a national sample of registered voters to show that anger has a causal effect in reducing citizens’ trust in government. Importantly, I find that anger is able to affect an individual’s views of the national government even when it is aroused through apolitical means. I also find that merely prompting individuals to think about politics is sufficient to arouse angry emotions. In total, the results suggest that anger and politics are closely intertwined, and that anger plays a broad and powerful role in shaping how Americans view their governing institutions.
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Over the last half-century, the South has undergone a radical transformation. One aspect of this transformation, the growth of the Republican Party, has produced a viable and competitive twoparty system in the region. Contrary to other studies examining this phenomenon, this study offers an explicitly political explanation—the theory of relative advantage—for the growth of Southern Republicanism. Using a pooled time series methodology to simultaneously examine the implications of this theory, as well as the effect of economic and demographic factors traditionally associated with GOP growth, it is shown that the observed pattern mirrors the expectations of relative advantage theory. In contrast to the existing literature, little support was found for economic or demographic explanations of Republican growth.
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Previous research on personality traits and political attitudes has largely focused on the direct relationships between traits and ideological self-placement. There are theoretical reasons, however, to suspect that the relationships between personality traits and political attitudes (1) vary across issue domains and (2) depend on contextual factors that affect the meaning of political stimuli. In this study, we provide an explicit theoretical framework for formulating hypotheses about these differential effects. We then leverage the power of an unusually large national survey of registered voters to examine how the relationships between Big Five personality traits and political attitudes differ across issue domains and social contexts (as defined by racial groups). We confirm some important previous findings regarding personality and political ideology, find clear evidence that Big Five traits affect economic and social attitudes differently, show that the effect of Big Five traits is often as large as that of education or income in predicting ideology, and demonstrate that the relationships between Big Five traits and ideology vary substantially between white and black respondents.
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The five-factor model has recently received wide attention as a comprehensive model of personality traits. The claim that these five factors represent basic dimensions of personality is based on four lines of reasoning and evidence: (a) longitudinal and cross-observer studies demonstrate that all five factors are enduring dispositions that are manifest in patterns of behavior; (b) traits related to each of the factors are found in a variety of personality systems and in the natural language of trait description; (c) the factors are found in different age, sex, race, and language groups, although they may be somewhat differently expressed in different cultures; and (d) evidence of heritability suggests that all have some biological basis. To clarify some remaining confusions about the five-factor model, the relation between Openness and psychometric intelligence is described, and problems in factor rotation are discussed.
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Does media bias affect voting? We analyze the entry of Fox News in cable markets and its impact on voting. Between October 1996 and November 2000, the conservative Fox News Channel was introduced in the cable programming of 20 percent of U. S. towns. Fox News availability in 2000 appears to be largely idiosyncratic, conditional on a set of controls. Using a data set of voting data for 9,256 towns, we investigate if Republicans gained vote share in towns where Fox News entered the cable market by the year 2000. We find a significant effect of the introduction of Fox News on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and 2000. Republicans gained 0.4 to 0.7 percentage points in the towns that broadcast Fox News. Fox News also affected voter turnout and the Republican vote share in the Senate. Our estimates imply that Fox News convinced 3 to 28 percent of its viewers to vote Republican, depending on the audience measure. The Fox News effect could be a temporary learning effect for rational voters, or a permanent effect for nonrational voters subject to persuasion.
Article
One of the most important developments within the American electorate in recent years has been the rise of affective polarization. Whether this is due to notions of group-based conflict or ideological disagreement, Americans increasingly dislike the opposing political party and its supporters. I contribute to this growing literature on affective polarization by showing how differences in individuals’ Big Five personality traits are predictive of both whether an individual dislikes the opposing party and the degree to which they express this hostility. Modeling negative affect toward the opposing party as a two-stage process, I find that Extraverted individuals are less likely to have negative affective evaluations of the opposing party. Additionally, conditional on disliking the opposing party, my results indicate that higher levels of Agreeableness lowers the degree to which individuals dislike the out-party. Moreover, these relationships are substantively stronger than common sociodemographic predictors such as age, race, and educational attainment.
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We measure the persuasive effects of slanted news and tastes for like-minded news, exploiting cable channel positions as exogenous shifters of cable news viewership. Channel positions do not correlate with demographics that predict viewership and voting, nor with local satellite viewership. We estimate that Fox News increases Republican vote shares by 0.3 points among viewers induced into watching 2.5 additional minutes per week by variation in position. We then estimate a model of voters who select into watching slanted news, and whose ideologies evolve as a result. We use the model to assess the growth over time of Fox News influence, to quantitatively assess media-driven polarization, and to simulate alternative ideological slanting of news channels.
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We show that contemporary differences in political attitudes across counties in the American South in part trace their origins to slavery's prevalence more than 150 years ago. Whites who currently live in Southern counties that had high shares of slaves in 1860 are more likely to identify as a Republican, oppose affirmative action, and express racial resentment and colder feelings toward blacks. We show that these results cannot be explained by existing theories, including the theory of contemporary racial threat. To explain the results, we offer evidence for a new theory involving the historical persistence of political attitudes. Following the Civil War, Southern whites faced political and economic incentives to reinforce existing racist norms and institutions to maintain control over the newly freed African American population. This amplified local differences in racially conservative political attitudes, which in turn have been passed down locally across generations. © 2016 by the Southern Political Science Association. All rights reserved.
Article
The media environment is changing. Today in the United States, the average viewer can choose from hundreds of channels, including several twenty-four hour news channels. News is on cell phones, on iPods, and online; it has become a ubiquitous and unavoidable reality in modern society. The purpose of this book is to examine systematically, how these differences in access and form of media affect political behaviour. Using experiments and new survey data, it shows how changes in the media environment reverberate through the political system, affecting news exposure, political learning, turnout, and voting behavior.
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The use of wedge issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and immigration has become standard political strategy in contemporary presidential campaigns. Why do candidates use such divisive appeals? Who in the electorate is persuaded by these controversial issues? And what are the consequences for American democracy? In this provocative and engaging analysis of presidential campaigns, Sunshine Hillygus and Todd Shields identify the types of citizens responsive to campaign information, the reasons they are responsive, and the tactics candidates use to sway these pivotal voters. The Persuadable Voter shows how emerging information technologies have changed the way candidates communicate, who they target, and what issues they talk about. As Hillygus and Shields explore the complex relationships between candidates, voters, and technology, they reveal potentially troubling results for political equality and democratic governance. The Persuadable Voter examines recent and historical campaigns using a wealth of data from national surveys, experimental research, campaign advertising, archival work, and interviews with campaign practitioners. With its rigorous multimethod approach and broad theoretical perspective, the book offers a timely and thorough understanding of voter decision making, candidate strategy, and the dynamics of presidential campaigns.
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One of the most important developments affecting electoral competition in the United States has been the increasingly partisan behavior of the American electorate. Yet more voters than ever claim to be independents. We argue that the explanation for these seemingly contradictory trends is the rise of negative partisanship. Using data from the American National Election Studies, we show that as partisan identities have become more closely aligned with social, cultural and ideological divisions in American society, party supporters including leaning independents have developed increasingly negative feelings about the opposing party and its candidates. This has led to dramatic increases in party loyalty and straight-ticket voting, a steep decline in the advantage of incumbency and growing consistency between the results of presidential elections and the results of House, Senate and even state legislative elections. The rise of negative partisanship has had profound consequences for electoral competition, democratic representation and governance.
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Personality and the Foundations of Political Behavior is the first study in more than thirty years to investigate the broad significance of personality traits for mass political behavior. Drawing on the Big Five personality trait framework, Jeffery J. Mondak argues that attention to personality provides a valuable means to integrate biological and environmental influences via rich, nuanced theories and empirical tests of the antecedents of political behavior. Development of such holistic accounts is critical, Mondak contends, if inquiry is to move beyond simple “blank slate” environmental depictions of political engagement. Analyses examining multiple facets of political information, political attitudes, and participation reveal that the Big Five trait dimensions – openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability – produce both direct and indirect effects on a wide range of political phenomena.
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In recent decades, Democratic and Republican party elites have grown increasingly polarized on all three of the major domestic policy agendas: social welfare, racial, and cultural issues. We contend that the mass response has been characterized not by the traditional expectation of "conflict displacement" or the more recent account of "ideological realignment," but by what we term "conflict extension." Mass attitudes toward the three agendas have remained distinct, but the parties in the electorate have grown more polarized on all three. Conflict extension, rather than conflict displacement or ideological realignment, has occurred because there has been a limited mass response to the growth of elite-level party polarization. Only party identifiers who are aware of party elite polarization on each of the issue dimensions have brought their social welfare, racial, and cultural issue attitudes toward the consistently liberal or consistently conservative stands of Democratic and Republican elites. Analyses using data from the 1972 through 2000 National Election Studies support both the aggregate- and individual-level predictions of the conflict extension perspective.
Article
Disagreements over whether polarization exists in the mass public have confounded two separate types of polarization. When social polarization is separated from issue position polarization, both sides of the polarization debate can be simultaneously correct. Social polarization, characterized by increased levels of partisan bias, activism, and anger, is increasing, driven by partisan identity and political identity alignment, and does not require the same magnitude of issue position polarization. The partisan-ideological sorting that has occurred in recent decades has caused the nation as a whole to hold more aligned political identities, which has strengthened partisan identity and the activism, bias, and anger that result from strong identities, even though issue positions have not undergone the same degree of polarization. The result is a nation that agrees on many things but is bitterly divided nonetheless. An examination of ANES data finds strong support for these hypotheses.
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Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggles in American Politics. By Earl and Merle Black. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007. 286p. $26.00. Earl and Merle Black have delivered another insightful book that describes contemporary politics by examining historical trends. They argue that the proper understanding of American politics—from election to policy—requires a regional analysis. In their own words: “Important geographical divisions, we believe, are at the heart of the very close national battles between Democrats and Republicans. American politics becomes much more interesting—and easier to understand—when the party battles are examined region by region” (p.xi). Their five regions are the South, Northeast, Pacific Coast, Midwest, and Mountains/Plains.
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There is the textbook 'how-a-bill-becomes-a-law' diagram, and then there is the way that most major measures really wind their way through the contemporary Congress. Sinclair aptly calls this 'unorthodox lawmaking', and gives students a much more realistic take on today's legislative process. Bills can follow a number of routes through Congress: they might be considered by several committees, or none; they could be subjected to non-germane amendments or filibustered on the Senate floor; or they may be governed by special rules individually tailored to facilitate or slow a bill's progress. Whatever the unorthodox route, Sinclair describes the legislative process as it really operates, exploring the range of special procedures, practices, and the factors that have contributed to their emergence. In this timely revision, she focuses especially on how partisan polarization has shaped the legislative process in recent years, with new case studies on the Bush tax cuts, the 2005 energy bill, and the 2003 Medicare/prescription drug bill. Always written with the narrative in mind and providing a unique perspective, "Unorthodox Lawmaking" introduces novice students to the intricacies of Congress. Sinclair also tackles the larger questions: Does the use of new procedures and practices enhance or inhibit the likelihood of a bill becoming law? What other effects does unorthodox lawmaking have on how Congress functions? This important supplemental reading gives students the tools to assess the relative successes and limitations of the legislative process.
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MULTIPLE-FACTOR PATTERNS BASED ON RATINGS OF PERSONALITY TRAITS ARE NOT, IN THEMSELVES, SUFFICIENT GROUNDS ON WHICH TO INFER ANYTHING ABOUT THE PERSONALITY STRUCTURE OF THE RATEES. AN ARGUMENT AND THE RESULT OF A MONTE CARLO STUDY CONFIRMED THAT A CLEARLY ARTICULATED, MULTIPLE-FACTOR STRUCTURE CAN BE OBTAINED SOLELY AS A RESULT OF THE SHARED "IMPLICIT PERSONALITY THEORY" OF THE RATERS. HOWEVER, 2 KINDS OF CRITERIA, 1 BASED ON A MEASURE OF INTERRATER AGREEMENT AND THE OTHER ON CONVERGENT AND DISCRIMINANT VALIDITY AGAINST OTHER MEASURES OF THE TRAITS, PROVIDE BASES FOR JUDGING THE DEGREE OF RATEE RELEVANCE IN ANY SET OF PERSONALITY RATINGS. THE USE OF THESE CRITERIA IS ILLUSTRATED FOR THE MONTE CARLO DATA AND FOR 4 SAMPLES OF EMPIRICAL DATA. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE DESIGN, ANALYSIS, AND REPORTING OF FUTURE PERSONALITY RATING STUDIES ARE DISCUSSED. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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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 ideological polarization of the Democratic and Republican Parties during the Reagan and post-Reagan eras. Clearer differences between the parties' ideological positions made it easier for citizens to choose a party identification based on their policy preferences. The result has been a secular realignment of party loyalties along ideological lines.
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We examine the associations between personality traits and the strength and direction of partisan identification using a large national sample. We theorize that the relationships between Big Five personality traits and which party a person affiliates with should mirror those between the Big Five and ideology, which we find to be the case. This suggests that the associations between the Big Five and the direction of partisan identification are largely mediated by ideology. Our more novel finding is that personality traits substantially affect whether individuals affiliate with any party as well as the strength of those affiliations, effects that we theorize stem from affective and cognitive benefits of affiliation. In particular, we find that three personality traits (Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Openness) predict strength of partisan identification (p<.05). This result holds even after controlling for ideology and a variety of issue positions. These findings contribute to our understanding of the psychological antecedents of partisan identification.
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Using data from two recent surveys, we analyze the relationship between personality traits, as measured by the Five-factor Model, and political participation, political ideology, partisanship, and vote choice. We confirm previous findings, including the strong positive association between the personality trait of Openness and liberalism and between Conscientiousness and conservatism, and also report several new results. We merged administrative records containing actual turnout and party registration status with our survey data. Using this novel approach, we confirm that the strong relationship between personality and politics holds when actual behavior is substituted for survey reports. We also measure the association of personality and several forms of political participation, including voting, contributing, and volunteering. The effect of personality on participation is often comparable to, or larger in magnitude than, the effect of factors that are central in earlier models of turnout, such as religious attendance, age, education, and income.
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Political discussion matters for a wide array of political phenomena such as attitude formation, electoral choice, other forms of participation, levels of political expertise, and tolerance. Thus far, research on the underpinnings of political discussion has focused on political, social, and contextual forces. We expand upon this existing research by examining how individual personality traits influence patterns of political discussion. Drawing on data from two surveys we investigate how personality traits influence the context in which citizens discuss politics, the nature of the relationship between individuals and their discussion partners, and the influence discussion partners have on respondents’ views. We find a number of personality effects and our results highlight the importance of accounting for individual predispositions in the study of political discussion. KeywordsPersonality–Big Five–Political discussion–Social influence
Article
The transformation of Southern politics over the past fifty years has been one of the most significant developments in American political life. The emergence of formidable Republican strength in the previously solid Democratic South has generated a novel and highly competitive national battle for control of Congress. Tracing the slow and difficult rise of Republicans in the South over five decades, Earl and Merle Black tell the remarkable story of political upheaval. The Rise of Southern Republicans provides a compelling account of growing competitiveness in Southern party politics and elections. Through extraordinary research and analysis, the authors track Southern voters' shifting economic, cultural, and religious loyalties, black/white conflicts and interests during and after federal civil rights intervention, and the struggles and adaptations of congressional candidates and officials. A newly competitive South, the authors argue, means a newly competitive and revitalized America. The story of how the South became a two-party region is ultimately the story of two-party politics in America at the end of the twentieth century. Earl and Merle Black have written a bible for anyone who wants to understand regional and national congressional politics over the past half-century. Because the South is now at the epicenter of Republican and Democratic strategies to control Congress, The Rise of Southern Republicans is essential to understanding the dynamics of current American politics. Table of Contents: 1. The Southern Transformation 2. Confronting the Democratic Juggernaut 3. The Promising Peripheral South 4. The Impenetrable Deep South 5. The Democratic Smother 6. The Democratic Domination 7. Reagan's Realignment of White Southerners 8. A New Party System in the South 9. The Peripheral South Breakthrough 10. The Deep South Challenge 11. The Republican Surge 12. Competitive South, Competitive America Notes Index Reviews of this book: These two leading scholars of Southern politics present a rigorous investigation of how voting in the peripheral South (Florida, Arkansas, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee) and the Deep South (Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina) was realigned since Ronald Reagan was first elected president in 1980. --Karl Helicher, Library Journal With publication of their latest book, The Rise of Southern Republicans the Blacks, both 60, have produced a trilogy that traces an almost geologic-style evolution in the South's political landscape. They've analyzed the whys and what-fors of a region, that in the past 50 years, has gone from impenetrably Democratic to competitively Republican. Their overarching conclusion: the two-party warfare that defines the South defines the nation...The Blacks' work--a mix of political wonkery and historical perspective, cut with the deliciously illuminating anecdote--is read by academics in various disciplines and political junkies of all stripes. The books are valued for their coolly dissecting insights...Because their writing swells beyond the data-crunching lab work of most political scientists--though new readers beware: The books are littered with scary-looking charts and graphs--it travels beyond academia. Party strategists are steeped in the work. "The Blacks wrote the book on how academic political science can illuminate practical politics," says Republican pollster Whit Ayers. --Drew Jubera, Atlanta Journal-Constitution The South's political identity has been transformed in the last half-century from a region of Democratic hegemony to a region of Republican majority. Earl and Merle Black...sedulously examine this remarkable change...This is a work of serious scholarship that lacks any hint of a partisan purpose. Committed readers will increase their understanding of both Southern and national politics. The Blacks' effort may well be the definitive statement on Southern politics over the 20th century. --Publishers Weekly Not since 1872, Earl Black and Merle Black point out in their third book on Southern politics, had the Republicans constructed majorities from both the North and the South in both houses, and it was the national character of their victory that made the 1994 election such a landmark...In The Rise of Southern Republicans , the Black brothers chronicle the party's history from the 1930s to the present, election by election. They illuminate the economic, racial and political dynamics that gradually moved the South toward the Republican Party, while also warning that the Republicans do not by any means own the region in the way the Democrats once did. --Kevin Sack, New York Times Book Review In The Rise of Southern Republicans brothers Earl and Merle Black explain the partisan realignment that has brought the South into the national political mainstream. The Blacks...focus most of their attention on the congressional arena, where voting patterns reflect long-term partisan loyalty more closely than at the presidential level...[T]he story the authors of The Rise of Southern Republicans tell is a fascinating one, with implications for American politics that are both profound and uncertain. --David Lowe, Weekly Standard The rise of southern Republicans is one of the most consequential stories in modern American politics. For political reporters of a certain generation...the Democratic dominance of Southern congressional politics is barely understood. The Black brothers make it all very clear. --Major Garrett, Washington Monthly This superb analysis of Southern politics by Earl Black...and his brother Merle Black...not only tracks the recent rise of Republicans in the South but explains why party realignment along ideological lines was so long in coming to that region... The Rise of Southern Republicans is already being rightly hailed as a political science classic. Its strength is the thorough and systematic manner in which it examines the changing ways a wide variety of factors have affected Southern voting patterns over the past four decades. The data and the rigor of the analysis are truly impressive. --James D. Fairbanks, Houston Chronicle This extraordinary book by the country's two leading scholarly experts on the politics of the American South could accurately have been titled "Everything you wanted to know about Southern politics, as well as everything you could ever imagine asking about it"...Their knowledge of the intricacies of particular congressional districts across the region is amazing, and their analysis of the larger partisan trends in the region makes this the most important book on Southern politics. --Stephen J. Farnsworth, Richmond Times-Dispatch The Black brothers have done it again. The Rise of Southern Republicans is without question the most important book ever written on the role of the South in Congress and the partisan consequences for our national legislature. Far and away the most comprehensive updating of the V.O. Key classic Southern Politics . This is a major work by extremely talented scholars. --Charles S. Bullock, University of Georgia The dramatic rise of the Republican Party in the South is the single most important factor in the transformation of American politics since the 1960s. Earl and Merle Black have described this process in a book that is witty, always filled with insight, and readable to the last page. The Rise of Southern Republicans is indispensable reading for anyone interested in American politics - past, present or future. --Dan T. Carter, author of The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics This marvelous book captures - with authority and readability - the big story of post-New Deal party politics in the United States. It is a surefire classic of political science and politics. --Richard F. Fenno, Jr., author of Congress at the Grassroots: Representational Change in the South, 1970-1998
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