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211-pol-sample-usparties - Partisanship Renewal Evidence of...

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22 | Page Partisanship Renewal. Evidence of the rise in partisanship of the electorate 1) The Crossover vote for the Presidency These are self-declared Democrats or Republicans who vote for the other candidate at an election. The lower the cross-over vote the higher the degree of partisan loyalty. However this is a weak measure of partisanship since in a presidential race a single man’s character and issues can easily affect the cross-over vote Republican vote for Democrat vote for 1988 D - Dukakis R – Bush 8% 91% 82% 17% 1992 D - Clinton R – Bush 10% 73%* 77%* 10% 1996 D - Clinton R – Dole 13% 80% 84% 10% 2000 D - Gore R – Bush 8% 91% 86% 11% (ouch!) 2004 D – Kerry R – Bush 6% 93% 89% 11% 2008 D - Obama R - McCain 9% 90% 89% 10% *The presence of Ross Perot significantly skews the 1992 figures These figures seem to show the solidity of the Republican vote behind Bush since 2000 which stayed true with McCain in 2008, or perhaps the increased levels of partisanship. The Democrat vote generally seems less firm and the coalition may be more difficult to hold together than the Republican one. However note that in each of the presidential elections 1988- 2004 (excluding the 1992 third party effect) the Democrat vote for the Democrat candidate also rose and it stayed at this high level of correlation with party identification in 2008. EV These are only figures from those who voted, it is possible that many Republicans expressed their dissatisfaction with McCain by not voting. The thesis of partisan decline is a little undermined by the fact that in 80% of the elections since 1952 the party that got the highest percentage support from its own party identifiers won the election. 2008 is thus a rare case when the Republicans showed greater cohesion (albeit by only one percentage point) than the Democrats but still lost. This emphasises once again the colossal importance of the effective campaign organisation of Obama in the field offices who ensured that the Democrat vote mobilised in much greater numbers than the Republicans did.
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23 | Page 2) The decline in split-ticket voting from 1996 onwards . This went from 25% of districts in 1996 to just 14% of districts in 2004, although it has risen again by 24 split districts in 2008 ( see CQ here). This would seem to indicate the growing partisanship of voters who had been increasingly voting a straight ticket up until 2008. Split ticket voting fell by 56% between 1984 and 2008 (although it rose 41% between 2004 and 2008!) 3) The increasingly partisan gap in the Obama job approval ratings figures (which may be a product of the ideological battle over health care and the role of the state). This partisan gap is at a record for a first term president. Job approval rating for
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211-pol-sample-usparties - Partisanship Renewal Evidence of...

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