How Policy Cues Structure Partisan Opinions
35 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
Although citizens often arrive at the same views as their party’s leaders, they also respond to information about policy targets and effects. Accounting for political context encourages a variable view of how partisanship shapes opinions in policy debates. In three survey experiments associated with policies supported by both Democrats and Republicans, I find that both aspects of policy argumentation and the actors making the arguments can enable partisanship to affect public opinion. Yet this process is highly conditional, sometimes specific to a single polarizing politician and other times likely in the face of any policy evidence.
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