I'm Not That Liberal: Explaining Conservative Democratic Identification

I'm Not That Liberal: Explaining Conservative Democratic Identification The persistence of self-identified conservative Democrats in the electorate is puzzling. Both the ongoing Southern realignment and the recent ideological polarization should have resulted in conservative Democrats changing their party identification to accord with their discrepant ideology. Instead, the number of conservative Democrats, as a percentage of the total electorate, has held steady over the last 20 years. I propose an explanation for this phenomenon that draws upon theories of mass belief systems, as well as an element of recent political reality: the popular stigmatization of the word “liberal.” I argue that Democrats who are susceptible to elite cues garner positive affect toward the conservative label and negative affect toward the liberal label. They then identify themselves accordingly, regardless of their issue positions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

I'm Not That Liberal: Explaining Conservative Democratic Identification

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1010626029987
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The persistence of self-identified conservative Democrats in the electorate is puzzling. Both the ongoing Southern realignment and the recent ideological polarization should have resulted in conservative Democrats changing their party identification to accord with their discrepant ideology. Instead, the number of conservative Democrats, as a percentage of the total electorate, has held steady over the last 20 years. I propose an explanation for this phenomenon that draws upon theories of mass belief systems, as well as an element of recent political reality: the popular stigmatization of the word “liberal.” I argue that Democrats who are susceptible to elite cues garner positive affect toward the conservative label and negative affect toward the liberal label. They then identify themselves accordingly, regardless of their issue positions.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References

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