By analyzing an election night survey of voters in the 1992 U.S. Presidential election, this article explicates the meaning, relationships, and effects on vote of ideological self-designation (liberal, centrist, conservative) and party identification (Democrat, Independent, Republican). In addition to concern about a candidate's character, different interests about governmental interventions designed to augment economic equity, social equality, and the public's health interpret the meaning of these categories. Using seven social attributes as instruments, a two-stage least-squares analysis and a sensitivity analysis suggest that ideology has a stable net direct effect on party identification. The effect of party identification on ideology is negligible. Concern about a candidate's character and public health interests strongly interpret the effect of ideology on party identification; the effects of interests concerning equity and rights are not as strong. Because the social attributes explain very little variance in vote, whereas more malleable variables – ideology and party identification – have very strong effects, electoral choices now tend to be more changeable than in the past.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 19, 2004
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