Tag Archives: public opinion

The Party Faithful: Partisan Images, Candidate Religion, and the Electoral Impact of Party Identification

Voters can use candidates’ religion to infer their partisanship, but only for certain religions. American voters tend to vote for their party’s candidate. That’s not news. The question is, why? Political science has usually relied on three answers. The psychological approach says that voters support their party because of a deep, emotional, psychological attachment to […]

New Measures of Partisanship, Ideology, and Policy Mood in the American States

Utah comes up as #1 most Republican in partisanship, #9 most conservative in ideology, and #17 most conservative in “mood.” Over the years, political scientists have come up with lots of different ways to measure each state’s relative ideology. We all have a general sense that Utah, Idaho, and Mississippi lie to the right of […]

Are Governors Responsible for the State Economy? Partisanship, Blame, and Divided Federalism

When there is an easy chance for people to pass the blame onto a party they don’t like, they’ll take it Tooting my own horn: Here’s the university’s press release for my recent article. It gets things mostly right. A down economy usually spells trouble for incumbents, but a new study shows that six Republicans […]

Constituents’ Responses to Congressional Roll-Call Voting

Voters really do hold members of Congress accountable for their voting records. Turns out that democracy works, at least when it comes to voters holding members of Congress accountable for their voting record. For accountability to happen, we need to see three things: (1) Voters need to have specific opinions on specific issues before Congress; […]

Personality and Political Attitudes: Relationships across Issue Domains and Political Contexts

Conservatives are hard-working, organized, closed-minded, and emotionally stable. Liberals are lazy, disorganized, open-minded, and neurotic. Let’s see how the punditocracy spins that one. Yesterday I wrote about Mondak et al.’s recent APSR article about personality and political participation. On the very next page of the same issue of APSR, you’ll find a closely related article […]

Personality and Civic Engagement: An Integrative Framework for the Study of Trait Effects on Political Behavior

We cannot understand the effects of personality without accounting for the environment, and we cannot understand the effects of the environment without accounting for personality. Political scientists pay very little attention to personality when they study political behavior. Instead, they prefer to look at environmental variables (campaign spending, personal income, personal education, candidate quality, electoral […]

Partisanship, Political Control, and Economic Assessments

“For many Americans, there is no rational basis to suppose that one party is better than the other at managing the economy.” If that’s true, is our entire democratic process a farce? We know that partisanship influences economic evaluations. In survey after survey, we have found that Republicans and Democrats rate the economy differently, yet […]

Campaign Communications in U.S. Congressional Elections

The authors have identified a cheap, easy way to capture a fuller sample of current campaign messages. We’ve long known that most voters pay little attention to campaign rhetoric; they pay far more attention to partisanship, incumbency, and other easily accessible considerations (although rhetoric certainly has its place). Still, candidates work hard to develop arguments […]