Rediscovering Partisanship as the Long Term Force in the Vote Decision

  • Michael D Martinez University of Florida


While partisanship is commonly conceived as the long term force in the voting decision, most models of voter choice include contemporaneous measures of partisanship, as well as issue preferences and retrospective evaluations as explanatory variables. In this paper, I use four multiyear panel studies spanning half a century to examine how well prior partisanship predicts future vote. Prior partisanship is strongly correlated with later vote choice, but that relationship is weaker during periods of party change, for younger voters and those who do not see differences between the parties, and in the face of strong short term forces. Despite evidence of the endogeneity of partisanship, we should also not lose sight of its long-term value as a predictor of vote choice. 

Author Biography

Michael D Martinez, University of Florida
Michael Martinez is Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida.  His research interests fall broadly into the field of electoral behavior and public opinion.


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