Joining and Leaving the Rally: Understanding the Surge and Decline in Presidential Approval Following 9/11
Posted: 18 Aug 2009
Date Written: Winter 2008
This paper explains the surge and decline of presidential approval following rally events. We develop a theoretical framework grounded in psychology and political entrepreneurship to explain not only who joins and leaves the rally, but why. We argue that threatening events such as 9/11 heighten the link between national identity and presidential approval, but this link fades as political entrepreneurs make partisan identities more salient. We find support for these propositions using analysis of pooled cross-sectional survey datasets and content analysis of elite discourse.
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