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The Reputational PremiumA Theory of Party Identification and Policy Reasoning$
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Paul M. Sniderman and Edward H. Stiglitz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154145

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154145.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
The Reputational Premium

Paul M. Sniderman

Edward H. Stiglitz

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of party identification. The reality of American politics is not the same as it was a half century ago. American politics at the elite level has, in a word, polarized. Republican means conservative; Democrat means liberal. During the same period of time, voters' party identifications have become aligned with the ideological outlook of their parties. The largest number of Democrat supporters identify themselves as liberal; a still larger number of Republican supporters identify themselves as conservative. A result of this process is that the very same commitment that used to signal unthinking loyalty—party identification—has become the basis for coherently thinking about politics for a large number of voters. The specific purpose of this study is to propose a new theory of party identification—a reputational theory of party identification.

Keywords:   party identification, American politics, Republicans, Democrats, voters

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