The Strong American Voter
thesisposted on 2021-12-20, 15:20 authored by John W T MegsonJohn W T Megson
The dissertation seeks to meld the two dominant competing theories of party identifi?cation in the US context: the expressive view, where Party ID is seen as a long standing psychological attachment to a political party; and the instrumental view, where Party ID is subject to reevaluation. Using ANES panel data, the paper examines both expressive and instrumental elements of partisanship. In keeping with past research, it finds strong evidence for the expressive understanding of Party ID; partisan groupings tend to be highly stable. However, the strength of identifications varies considerably over time, with perceptions of candidates, presidential approval, policy preferences, and ideological orientations driving these changes. These results are in keeping with an instrumental conceptualization of partisan identities.