In this paper, we take a fresh look at the structure of sociopolitical conflict through confirmatory factor analyses of survey data gathered in Florida during the presidential campaign of 1996. Our analysis shows both stability and change in the electorate. In line with prior research, a single bipolar partisan dimension underlies the mass public's evaluations of political leaders, though national figures fit more comfortably on this continuum than do those at the state level. Citizens' evaluations of key sociopolitical groups reflect orthogonal cultural disputes, class divisions, and conflicts relating to issues of social control. While all three of these dimensions impinge to some degree on voters' conceptions of party and ideology, our findings point to the leading role that cultural issues now play in shaping ideological images and identities.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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