By Donald Green, Bradley Palmquist, Eric Schickler
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Extra resources for Partisan Hearts and Minds: Political Parties and the Social Identity of Voters
One need only be an environmentalist at heart. Murky standards of group membership are of special importance to the conception of party identification in most political systems. Although some parties have official membership lists (for example, the Chinese Communist Party and Britain’s Conservative Party), American parties and many mass-based parties elsewhere have formal standards for membership that vary from meager to venal. Any citizen willing to part with a few dollars may visit the Web sites of the Republican or Democratic parties and become a member of one or both.
5. 0 193 Source: Roper Starch National Survey, October 1999. ilar correspondence between self-label and social identity appears when the questions concern Republicans. % of all Democrats strongly repudiated any suggestion of Republican we-feeling, a response pattern characteristic of just % of the Republicans. The sharp separation between Democrats and Republicans on questions of social identity lends credence to the view that selfcategorization and group identification are empirically quite similar phenomena.
In the s, Democrats running for open seats won % of the votes cast by Democrats and % by Republicans. The corresponding percentages for – are % and %. Partisanship is by no means a weak predictor of vote choice in congressional races, and rates of party loyalty in the late s do not differ markedly from those of the late s (see Bartels ). Perhaps voters still vote their partisan sympathies but do not bring any partisan passion to the voting booth. One of the most prominent critiques of party identification contends that citizens nowadays view political parties with indifference, as politics becomes increasingly candidate-centered (Wattenberg ).