The Dynamic Properties of Individual-level Party Identification in the United States
Title: The Dynamic Properties of Individual-level Party Identification in the United States
Citation: Electoral Studies, 2011, 30, 1, 210-222, Special Symposium on Electoral Democracy in the European Union
Series/Number: [EUDO Public Opinion Observatory]
Central to traditionalist and revisionist perspectives of individual-level party identification is a debate about the stability of party identification. We revisit the debate about the dynamic properties and processes underlying party identification. We present a conceptual framework that defines heterogeneity and state dependence as endpoints of a continuum underlying partisan stability, which is important in understanding an individual’s capacity for updating partisanship. Using panel data from the 1992–1996 National Election Study, we estimate dynamic, random effects multinomial logit models of party identification that distinguish between heterogeneity and “true state dependence.” In accord with traditionalist perspectives, our evidence suggests that in general, minimal state dependence underlies party identification; party identification is strongly stationary. However, we find that age enhances the magnitude of state dependence, which provides some support for revisionist theories. Overall, our work showcases how explaining individual-level dynamics expands our knowledge of partisan stability.
Table of Contents:
1. Stability and party identification 2. Foundations of partisan stability: the heterogeneity and state dependence continuum 3. Data and methods 4. Results 5. Discussion and conclusion Appendix. Supplementary data References
Publication based on research carried out in the framework of the European Union Democracy Observatory (EUDO) of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute.; The journal issue has been produced in the framework of the PIREDEU Project, one of the projects carried out by the EUDO Public Opinion Observatory.
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