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The Great Divide What causes people to support one party instead of the other?

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Presentation on theme: "The Great Divide What causes people to support one party instead of the other?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great Divide What causes people to support one party instead of the other?

2 I. Demographic Characteristics

3 A. Race 1.Single Best Predictor for Most Racial Minorities If you can pick one characteristic about a person and then predict their own party identification, ask about race (and ethnicity): better predictor than age, sex, income, education, geography, etc. Also helps predict ideology and issue positions (Abramowitz)

4 Example: Race/Ethnicity Trump Rural- Urban Divide (Rural Counties Map)

5 County Map of 2008 Results

6 ’04 ‘08 2. African-American Political Participation a. ≈ 90% of African-Americans Vote Democratic

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8 b. Race trumps gender, age, and income

9 3. Asian-American Political Participation a. Recent Findings: ▫Pro-Democrat (3:1 for Kerry in 2004, 2:1 for Obama in 2008) ▫Majority too young to vote or noncitizens ▫Country of origin effects ▫Importance of immigration and language issues ▫Decreasing Democratic advantage? Mixed results due to small sample sizes b. Difficult to study quantitatively (small size of population relative to random sample of entire US population)

10 4. Native American Political Behavior No exit polling data – findings based on geographic comparisons

11 Native American Counties

12 County Map of 2008 Results

13 B. The Ethnic Divide: Latino Political Behavior 1. Latinos favor Democrats About 2:1

14 2. Party Identification Favors Democrats Party Identification

15 3. Need to control for registration: large differences

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17 4. Latino diversity: Country of Origin Effects

18 All but Cuban-Americans favor Dems, on average

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20 5. Ethnicity Trumps income, education, and residency

21 6. Immigration attitudes cross party lines

22 C. The Gender Gap 1. Women more likely to favor Dems 2. Differential enthusiasm between men/women helps predict election outcomes (2010 midterm example)

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24 3. Early gap was race-based, but recent increase is not

25 4. Fiorina’s Explanation: Partisan Shifts Women more dovish on security Women more pro-government on social programs Since 1970s Democrats have been both more dovish and more pro-government on social programs  gender gap

26 5. Puzzle: Regional variation in the gender gap

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28 D. Age 1. Democrats do well among the very young and the old

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31 D. Age 1.Democrats do well among the very young and the old 2.But young are most likely to be independents

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33 3. Gender outweighs age

34 3. Age increases voting

35 E. Population Density 1. Urban areas trend Democratic, Rural areas trend Republican

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37 a. Population Density by County

38 Election 2008: County Map

39 b. The Shift: Rural support for Republicans (Blue) and Democrats (Red) in Congress

40 c. Rural/Urban Voters Have Similar Priorities…

41 d. …But Different Ideologies

42 e. Two Core Divisions: Religion and Guns

43 f. Rural Voters Reverse the “Gender Gap”

44 2. The suburban majority: Voting splits on North/South lines Suburbs split in 2000, in 2004, in 2008

45 II. Socioeconomic Status Mostly from Gelman (2008 and subsequent presentations)

46 A. The red-blue paradox 1.Richer states tend to be more liberal and vote Democratic, while poorer states tend to be more conservative and vote Republican.

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48 A. The red-blue paradox 1.Richer states tend to be more liberal and vote Democratic, while poorer states tend to be more conservative and vote Republican. 2.But richer people tend to be more conservative and vote Republican, while poorer people tend be more liberal and vote Democratic.

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52 Effect is not an artifact of race-class connection

53 Effect holds within racial/ethnic groups

54 A. The red-blue paradox 1.Richer states tend to be more liberal and vote Democratic, while poorer states tend to be more conservative and vote Republican. 2.But richer people tend to be more conservative and vote Republican, while poorer people tend be more liberal and vote Democratic.

55 B. Resolving the Paradox 1. The “What’s the Matter with Kansas” hypothesis a. Argument: Rich vote on economics and poor vote on social issues (for GOP)

56 b. The evidence: Contrary to Hypothesis

57 c. Economic Voting is Increasing in Poor States

58 2. The relationship between income and voting is different in rich states than poor states

59 Behavior gap is growing. Why?

60 4. What’s the Matter With Connecticut? Poorer people are consistently more likely to favor Dems in all states But the behavior of upper-income voters is different in poor (Red) and wealthy (Blue) states

61 Red States vs. Blue States

62 County-level data: Maryland vs. Texas

63 4. What’s the Matter With Connecticut? a. Poorer people are consistently more likely to favor Dems in all states b. But the behavior of upper-income voters is different in poor (Red) and wealthy (Blue) states c. So why don’t the rich in Connecticut vote their class interests? d. Gelman’s argument:

64 Evidence: Moderate Support for Gelman hypothesis Rich in blue states are much more conflicted But poor voters resemble each other in all states

65 C. Occupational Shifts

66 D. Economic Inequality 1. Increasing, by almost every measure

67 2. Does Inequality Cause Polarization? Economic issues highly salient Parties have moved apart on economic issues Inequality increases economic voting by poor BUT also decreases turnout! Result: Small if any effect of inequality on individual vote choice BUT may increase polarization/disaffection

68 III. Values: Religion and “Authoritarianism” A.Faiths:

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70 III. Values: Religion and “Authoritarianism” A.Faiths: GOP has gained among Evangelical Protestants and Catholics but lost support among Mainline Protestants B.Religiosity Matters: 1.Far more important than which religion one is… orks against economic voting

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73 III. Values: Religion and “Authoritarianism” A.Faiths: GOP has gained among Evangelical Protestants and Catholics but lost support among Mainline Protestants B.Religiosity Matters: 1.Far more important than which religion one is… 2.Does it reduce economic voting?

74 a. Poor score higher on religiosity

75 Abramowitz: increasing correlation between cultural issues and economic ones b. Effect doesn’t cancel economic voting – which is weakest among least religious! Why?

76 C. “Authoritarianism”

77 1. The Argument (Hetherington and Weiler 2009) a.Issues can be divided on two dimensions: an economic dimension and an “authoritarian” dimension. b.“Authoritarian” issues are more divisive than “traditional” economic issues c.“Authoritarian” issues have become more salient and more partisan, increasing polarization

78 2. Evidence a.Measure of “authoritarianism” correlates well with positions on list of “authoritarian” issues. b.Measure also correlates well with other measures of “authoritarianism” used for different (i.e. non- political) purposes c.Handout: Growing gap on “authoritarian” issues compared to “traditional” economic ones d.Polarization decreases under high threat (everyone behaves “authoritarian”) and increases under low threat e.Missing: Evidence that “authoritarian” issues are inherently more divisive

79 IV. Education? Limited effect on voting, but may polarize people A. Education appears to increase Republican ID, but.. 1. Education increases income, which may be responsible 2. Controlling for income results in no effect or even pro-Democratic shift 3. Very high levels of education (PhD) dramatically increase Democratic ID B. Education does tend to bring party ID in line with professed ideology (previous lecture)

80 V. Intergenerational Effect

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82 Effect is Mediated by Politicization of the Home (1997 data)

83 VII. Conclusions

84 A. Conclusions About Party ID/Voting Republican Self- Identification White Race Non-Latino Ethnicity Republican Parents Male Highly Religious or “Authoritarian” Rural Age Higher Income / Poorer State

85 B. Conclusions About Polarization

86 1. Polarization vs. Sorting Fiorina: Sorting (e.g. Abramowitz Figure 3.5) Abramowitz: Polarization and Sorting. Evidence: ▫The “flattening” of the once normal curve on gov’t activism in Figure 3.7 ▫Health care issue (inside front cover) ▫Overall issues scale (Figure 3.8 b) ▫Standard deviation of issues scale increasing over time  shift away from normal distribution (Figure 3.6) as sorting co-occurs

87 2. Culture Wars Note increasing gap between religiously observant and nonobservant (Abramowitz) Alternative: “Authoritarianism” Both divides have been increasing over time. Can they be “sorting” – or are they evidence of differences in deeply-embedded values?

88 3. Possible Causes of Polarization a.Religiosity Gap: But what is driving the gap? b.Increased Minority Participation (esp. in the South) c.Lack of Economic Voting Among Rich in Rich States: But why? (Post-Materialism?) d.Increased Economic Inequality: Increases economic voting among the poor and decreases turnout  but is this polarization? e.Increased Higher Education: Increases partisanship and issue polarization/sorting f.Other factors?

89 Case Study: The Tea Party Movement If statistical evidence is inconclusive, perhaps process-tracing a single case will provide more insight

90 A. Is the Tea Party a Mass Movement? 1. Note: Most mass movements are small, compared to the general public 2. Tea Party supporters = about one-fourth of Americans (opinion surveys)  mass support ▫1 in 5 of these (2.5%) has donated money or protested  mass participation ▫Donors generally vastly outnumber protesters  unclear if mass activism ▫650 national organizations, fewer than half “active.” Most of these = 500 members or less

91 B. How Does the Tea Party Get Anything Done? Fragmentation usually reduces influence of mass movements Two main groups set the agenda using media and money: ▫FreedomWorks (Tea Party Patriots) ▫“Our Country Deserves Better” PAC (Tea Party Express) Other GOP groups often support Tea Party activities / candidates

92 C. What Mobilized the Tea Party? See exercise (and Abramowitz)


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