The Consequences of Elite Party Politics for American Macropartisanship

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Authors Corwin D. Smidt
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Studies of macropartisanship exclusively focus on presidential performance’s role in driving partisan updating. Performance may determine which party benefits from updating, but I propose that the occurrence of mass updating more so depends on whether there are changes to the substance of elite party divisions. The greater the change in what characterizes party differences in Washington the more likely a portion of Americans update their partisanship accordingly. In confirmation, mixture model estimates find a separate updating component within macropartisanship that does not automatically respond to party performance. Instead, updating significantly grows in prominence the more party divisions within Congress change by issue focus and ideological alignment. These findings extend and integrate macropartisanship and issue evolution studies by showing how they can fit together within a more general model of party coalition dynamics.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R
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