Partisan Sort How Liberals Became Democrats and Conservatives Became Republicans

ISBN-10: 0226473651
ISBN-13: 9780226473659
Edition: 2010
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Description: As Washington elites drifted toward ideological poles over the past few decades, did ordinary Americans follow their lead? InThe Partisan Sort, Matthew Levendusky reveals that we have responded to this trendbut not, for the most part, by becoming  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/15/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.836

As Washington elites drifted toward ideological poles over the past few decades, did ordinary Americans follow their lead? InThe Partisan Sort, Matthew Levendusky reveals that we have responded to this trendbut not, for the most part, by becoming more extreme ourselves. While polarization has filtered down to a small minority of voters, it also has had the more significant effect of reconfiguring the way we sort ourselves into political parties. In a marked realignment since the 1970swhen partisan affiliation did not depend on ideology and both major parties had strong liberal and conservative factionsliberals today overwhelmingly identify with Democrats, as conservatives do with Republicans. This "sorting," Levendusky contends, results directly from the increasingly polarized terms in which political leaders define their parties. Exploring its far-reaching implications for the American political landscape, he demonstrates that sorting makes voters more loyally partisan, allowing campaigns to focus more attention on mobilizing committed supporters. Ultimately, Levendusky concludes, this new link between party and ideology represents a sea change in American politics.

List of figures
List of tables
Acknowledgments
The Transformation of the American Electorate
Why Voters Sort
Have Voters Sorted?
Testing Competing Explanations for Sorting
Untangling the Causes of Sorting
How Voters Sort
The Impact of the Sorted
Appendix Data Used
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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