Partisanship and Ideology: A Subgroup Analysis Over Time
Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M.
De Boef, Suzanna
The relationship between partisan and ideological movements
in the electorate has largely gone uninvestigated
(but see Box-Steffensmeier, Knight, and Sigelman 1996)
We investigate the relationship between macropartisanship
and macroideology over time by subgroups within the populations. We focus
on particular on groups that are more or less politically
We use CBS and New York Times survey data on partisanship and ideology.
Our evidence suggests that there is a relationship between ideology
and partisanship and that the more politically sophisticated the
respondent, the more closely related are the series over time.
Adults that answer both questions, as well as higher
educated respondents, more often get ideology and partisanship
That is, they claim to be Democrats and liberals or
Republicans and conservatives. We can reject independence more clearly
as the level of education goes up as well.
In addition to the increased level of political sophistication
that characterizes those for whom the series are
linked, these adults are more likely
by wide margins, to have claimed to have
voted than less sophisticated adults. Thus, any linkage
has political implications. The incentives for
politicans to link popular ideological sentiment
with partisanship are strong. The people who put them
in office (or kick them out) are the same folks who
connect ideology and partisanship and who pay attention to politics.
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