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Opinion8 - Monday October 4 POLS4510 PUBLIC OPINION AND...

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Monday, October 4 http://emwilk.myweb.uga.edu/POLS4510.html POLS4510 – PUBLIC OPINION AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY (20597) Ideology and Party identification Culture War? Are Americans polarized?
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Challenges to Fiorina Abramowitz and Saunders Electorate is increasingly polarized
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Challenges to Fiorina Polarization on Seven-Item Policy Scale by Political Engagement Standard Deviations Year Nonvoters Voters Active Citizens Activists 1984 2.52 2.89 3.15 3.74 1988 2.52 3.13 3.50 3.50 1992 2.44 3.15 3.48 3.50 1996 2.60 3.39 3.70 4.10 2000 2.68 3.31 3.59 3.71 2004 2.67 3.60 3.89 4.27 PCT ∆ +6 +25 +23 +14
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Trends in Polarization, 1972 – 2004 1 1.5 2 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 Distance between Democrats & Republicans on NES 7-pt scale Source: Abramowitz (2006)
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Trends in Polarization, 1972 – 2004 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 Distance between Democrats & Republicans on NES 7-pt scale Source: Abramowitz (2006)
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Challenges to Fiorina Abramowitz and Saunders Electorate is increasingly polarized Decreasing levels of moderates
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0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 Ideological Identification of NES Respondents, 1972 – 2008 Weak Ideologues (2 and 6) Moderates (4, DK) Strong Ideologues (1 and 7) Leaners (3 and 5)
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Challenges to Fiorina Abramowitz and Saunders Electorate is increasingly polarized Decreasing levels of moderates Republicans / Democrats classify themselves as more conservative / liberal since the 1970’s Polarization increases as political interest / activism increases
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7-Point Ideology / issue scale by Party, 2004 – nonvoters 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 DEM REP Source: Abramowitz (2006)
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7-Point Ideology / issue scale by Party, 2004 – voters 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 DEM REP Source: Abramowitz (2006)
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7-Point Ideology / issue scale by Party, 2004 – active citizens 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 DEM REP Source: Abramowitz (2006)
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7-Point Ideology / issue scale by Party, 2004 – campaign activists 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 DEM REP Source: Abramowitz (2006)
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Politically Engaged Public, 1956 – 2004 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 Activists Active citizens Activists – engage in 1 campaign event beyond voting Active citizens – engage in 2 campaign events beyond voting Source: Abramowitz (2006)
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Challenges to Fiorina Abramowitz and Saunders Electorate is increasingly polarized Decreasing levels of moderates Republicans / Democrats classify themselves as more conservative / liberal since the 1970’s Polarization increases as political interest / activism increases Levels of political interest / activism increasing In sum Politically engaged are polarized Politically engaged make up a large portion of the electorate Americans are more likely to think about one party positively and one negatively
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Polarization in the Electorate or Not?
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