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The Ambivalent PartisanHow Critical Loyalty Promotes Democracy$
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Howard G. Lavine, Christopher D. Johnston, and Marco R. Steenbergen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199772759

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199772759.001.0001

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Ambivalent Partisans at the Polls

Ambivalent Partisans at the Polls

(p.153) Chapter 6 Ambivalent Partisans at the Polls
The Ambivalent Partisan

Howard G. Lavine

Christopher D. Johnston

Marco R. Steenbergen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 considers the voting act itself: do univalent and ambivalent partisans differ in the bases in which they make their political choices on Election Day? The answer is a resounding “yes.” The chapter shows that univalent partisans rely overwhelmingly on partisanship at the voting booth, but little on policy issues, whereas ambivalent partisans—ceteris paribus—exhibit the opposite pattern. Moreover, in a close examination of “cross-pressured” citizens, that is, those for whom partisan identity and policy preferences point in opposite directions, univalent partisans privilege party and ambivalent partisans privilege policy. The chapter also demonstrates that traditional explanations of citizen competence (e.g., political sophistication) either have little effect on party vs. policy voting, or actually decrease the probability of policy voting. Finally, the chapter shows that ambivalent partisanship does not inhibit political participation.

Keywords:   policy voting, cross-pressured, party identification, ambivalent partisanship, political participation

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