About the Society
Papers, Posters, Syllabi
Submit an Item
Polmeth Mailing List
Below results based on the criteria 'Partisanship'
Total number of records returned: 12
Macropartisanship: A Replication and Critique
Green, Donald P.
This paper reevaluates the thesis of MacKuen, Erikson, and Stimson (1989, 1992) that aggregate party identification balance (macropartisanship) shifts significantly over short periods of time in response to changes in presidential popularity and consumer sentiment. The data originally used by MacKuen, et al. were a sample of the complete set of Gallup polls available from 1953 to 1988. Because their data are no longer extant, and to make use of more information, we analyze party id data from 677 personal and 305 telephone Gallup polls, aggregated quarterly from 1953 to 1995. Comparisons are also made with analyses from CBS/New York Times data. As well as attempting to replicate the MacKuen, et al. results (an attempt which is not entirely successful, perhaps because of the data differences), we develop a more flexible and parsimonious time series model linking approval, consumer sentiment, and macropartisanship. The estimates obtained lead to the conclusion that macropartisanship adjusts to short-term shocks in a limited and gradual fashion. These shifts are not large enough to call into question the traditional views of realignment and the stabilizing role that party identification plays in a party system.
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 sophisticated. 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 "right." 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.
Partisan Strength and Uncertain Presidential Evaluations
American presidents, as do all democratic political leaders, rely on popular support in order to promote their political agenda, gain legislative victories, and succeed at the ballot box. Presidential approval, however, displays more than just a mean value, it also has a variance. And even a well regarded political leader would prefer to avoid widely variant support. At the individual level, variance is analogous to the level of uncertainty that an individual has about presidential performance This paper demonstrates the central role that partisan attachments play in fostering clarity in presidential approval. In general, respondents with stronger partisan attachments, combined with issue positions favorable to the president, are far more certain in their approval response. Fascinating variations in the role that party played during the Reagan years, compared to Carter, Bush, and Clinton, suggest a complex interaction between partisan ties, presidential performance, and the particular occupant of the oval office. The paper draws on data from the National Election Studies, 1980--1994. Ordinary least squares regression models are estimated, and clear evidence of heteroskedasticity is shown. A more general model that includes both a model for the mean and for the variance is presented and estimated using the same set of data. The main hypotheses regarding partisan strength and response uncertainty are confirmed.
Conditional Partisanship: Looking for Partisan Effects on Roll Call Votes in the U.S. House
Roll call voting
In this paper, I examine a simple procedure in the United States House of Representatives, approving the Journal, and its implications for legislative business. In particular, following a suggestion made by Sinclair (1995), I examine the hypothesis that such votes are more than simply pro forma motions or dilatory tactics by the minority party. Rather, the taking of such a vote represents a signal (perhaps to members of the House, but at least to the analyst) that the day’s ensuing business is important to at least one party’s leadership and that it is expected to be a close vote. Considering the 102nd-107th Congresses, I show that a recorded vote on the Speaker’s approval of the Journal indicates that the legislative day’s business will be both more contentious (i.e., recorded votes have a smaller margin of passage) and more partisan (i.e., recorded votes are more likely to be “party unity” votes). In addition, the fit of Poole’s Optimal Classification estimates for legislators’ preferences is higher for recorded votes taken on such days. In addition, I discuss the marginal effect of the type and timing of legislative business on these findings, as well as the identity of who calls for the vote on the Journal. Of particular interest are the differential effects for appropriations and “procedural” matters.
Partisans without constraint: Political polarization and trends in American public opinion
Political polarization is commonly measured using the variation of responses on an individual issue. By this measure, research has shown that---despite many commentators' concerns about increased polarization---Americans' attitudes have become no more variable in recent decades. What has changed in the electorate is its level of partisanship. We define a new measure of political polarization as increased correlations in political attitudes and we distinguish between issue partisanship---the correlation of issue attitudes with party ID or ideology---and issue alignment---the correlation between pairs of issues. Using the National Election Studies (1972-2004), we find issue alignment to have increased by only 2 percentage points in correlation per decade. Issue partisanship has increased more than twice as fast, thus suggesting that changes in people's attitudes correspond more to a re-sorting of party labels among voters than to greater constraint on issue attitudes. Since parties are more polarized, they are now better at sorting individuals along ideological lines. Increased issue partisanship, in a context of persistently low issue constraint, might give greater voice to political extremists and single-issue advocates, and amplify dynamics of unequal representation.
Models of Path Dependence with an Empirical Application
non-linear least squares
It is now commonplace in the social sciences to describe an outcome or process as path dependent. By path dependence, researchers generally mean that the sequence of events prior to the observation of the outcome has explanatory power. The paper develops models that have both path dependent and non-path dependent properties, depending upon the value of a particular parameter. The paper then uses non-linear least squares and a Monte Carlo simulation to explore how well this parameter can be estimated, meaning how well scholars can discriminate betwen the two processes. The methodology is applied to the evolution of attitudes on aid to minorities and partisanship between 1956 and 2000. The results are consistent with the path dependent model.
Partisanship, Voting, and the Dopamine D2 Receptor Gene
Previous studies have found that both political orientations (Alford, Funk & Hibbing 2005) and voting behavior (Fowler, Baker & Dawes 2007, Fowler & Dawes 2007) are significantly heritable. In this article we study genetic variation in another important political behavior: partisan attachment. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we show that individuals with the A1 allele of the D2 dopamine receptor gene are significantly less likely to identify as a partisan than those with the A2 allele. Further, we find that this gene's association with partisanship also mediates an indirect association between the A1 allele and voter abstention. These results are the first to identify a specific gene that may be responsible for the tendency to join political groups, and they may help to explain correlation in parent and child partisanship and the persistence of partisan behavior over time.
When Mayors Matter: Estimating the Impact of Mayoral Partisanship on City Policy
Regression discontinuity design
urban fiscal policy
U.S. cities are limited in their ability to set policy. Can these constraints mute the impact of mayorsâ?? partisanship on policy outcomes? We hypothesize that mayoral discretion--and thus partisanshipâ??s influence--will be more pronounced in policy areas where there is the less shared authority between local, state, and federal governments. To test this hypothesis, we create a novel data set combining U.S. mayoral election returns from 1990 to 2006 with urban fiscal data. Using regression discontinuity design, we find that cities that elect a Democratic mayor spend less on public safety, a policy area where local discretion is high, than otherwise similar cities that elect a Republican or Independent. We find no differences on tax policy, social policy, and other areas that are characterized by significant overlapping authority. These results have important implications for political accountability: mayors may not be able to influence the full range of policies that are nominally local responsibilities.
The Foundations of Latino Voter Partisanship
Alvarez, R. Michael
Bedolla, Lisa Garcia
2000 presidential election
Traditionally, the Latino electorate has been considered to be Democratic in partisan affiliation. However, during the 2000 presidential election there were many efforts made by the Republican party to court Latino voters, suggesting that perhaps Latino voters may becoming more Republican in orientation. Using a telephone survey of Latino likely voters conducted in the 2000 election, we examine three different sets of correlates of Latino voter partisanship: social and demographic, issue and ideological, and economic. We find that in Latino voter partisanship is strongly structured by social and demographic, as well as issue and ideological, factors. We also find that while it is unlikely that changes in economic factors or abortion attitudes will significantly change which parties the different Latino nation-origin groups identify with, it is possible that changes in ideological positoins regarding the role of government in providing social services could result in significant changes in Latino party identification.
Stability and Change in State Electorates, Carter through Clinton
Erikson, Robert S.
Wright, Gerald C.
McIver, John P.
Holian, David B.
This paper extends the time series and advances the argument presented in _Statehouse Democracy_, which provided a public opinion basis for the study of state politics. The analysis covers the dynamics of partisanship and ideology in state electorates from 1977 through 1999. Incorporating the Bush and Clinton years allows for a number of conclusions. In the aggregate, state partisanship changed over the course of the last two presidential administrations, but state ideology did not. However, this change was not uniform across the country, but differed by region and resulted in higher levels of polarization between party and ideological identifications. Finally, consistent with the findings in _Statehouse Democracy_, state partisanship and
Sensitivity of GARCH Estimates: Effects of Model Specification on Estimates of Macropartisan Volatility
Gleditsch, Kristian S.
volatility of aggregate partisanship
This paper explores the volatility of aggregate partisanship using a generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model of the variance. We are particularly interested in how different specifications of the mean model affect the variance estimates. Modeling the variance of macropartisanship is theoretically interesting because such a model can capture periods of greater and lesser volatility in aggregate party identification. However, given the widespread debate over the dynamic properties of the aggregate partisanship time series, a range of plausible specifications for the mean model should be considered before drawing conclusions about variance estimates. We find similar estimates of the variance effects using ARMA-GARCH, ARFIMA-GARCH, ARIMA-GARCH and ECM-GARCH models. Weak ties to party consistently predict greater volatility in all four models, while presidential election quarters are associated with greater volatility in three of the four models. Counter to our expectations, the candidate centered era of the last few decades is associated with lower average variance. Finally, all four models indicate that volatility tends to persist beyond the duration of the shock that sparks it.
Using Experiments to Improve Ideal Point Estimation in Text with an Application to Political Ads
Researchers are rapidly developing new automated techniques to scale political speech on an ideological dimension. Yet, the task has proven difficult across many settings. Political advertisements, in particular, have eluded such efforts. Candidates air relatively few ads, containing limited policy information, and there is little agreement about how to model political speech in the campaign, much less in general. Rather than model the underlying ideological structure of words, I develop an experimental approach to directly measure the content of political ads. I randomly assign ads to subjects, recruited in a large-N survey, who are asked to guess the party (or ideological leaning) of the featured candidate. Ads are then scaled as their expected partisan guessing score. This score is well-measured given random assignment and subject recruitment, and can be used in a supervised learning approach to scale other ad text. Due to the inferential nature of the task, subjects are less likely to exhibit bias in their guessing. Further, I show that the average partisan signal in ads is synonymous with an ideological dimension in the minds of respondents. I implement a number of tests to assess party guessing as a way to scale ads, each of which indicate remarkable reliability and validity in the approach. Finally, I explore ways to scale up the guessing task to a much larger set of ads. Beyond scaling ads, the inferential approach outlined here can be generalized to measure a much wider array of dimensions contained in speech and text data.