Party and Policy in Voter Choice: A Study of Reinforcement
Much attention has been directed over the last two decades to determining the relative effect of party and policy concerns in voter choice. Concomitantly evidence has accumulated that these two variables reinforce each other. In this paper, examination of the last three presidential elections using commonality analysis indicates that policy reinforced partisanship tends to surpass the unique effect of partisanship; that the total policy effect is never much less than total partisan effect; and that most cross-pressure between party and policy occurs within the less sophisticated elements of the electorate. This research also indicates that in the past decade the political parties have become more harmonious with their identifiers on policy questions rather than less so as some have contended. Methodologically, there is support for examining the voter's decision making through use of sub-groups, commonality analysis, and multiple indicators of policy orientation.
Holm, John D., "Party and Policy in Voter Choice: A Study of Reinforcement" (1986). Political Science Faculty Publications. 57.
Holm, J. (1986). Party and policy in voter choice: A study of reinforcement. Electoral Studies, 5(1), 47-60. doi:10.1016/0261-3794(86)90028-4