Sunday, January 28, 2018

Exploring Partisanship & Party Loyalty from 1952 to 2016

Much has been made about the role of partisanship in American politics: some call it "tribalism" in the sense that party loyalty drives most views and actions, especially when it comes to voting behavior at the presidential level. And while some believe that the "political independents" can save us (and point to rising numbers in polls that show "independents" are now the largest bloc of voters), the sense of party loyalty has been evident even among these 'faux' independents.

In looking at data from the American National Election Studies from 1952 to 2016, I wanted to get a better sense of how these trends--the perceived rise of independents, as well as the potential rise or decline of partisanship and party loyalty--has been recorded in presidential election years.