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.

Suggested Citation

Grossmann, Matt, How Policy Cues Structure Partisan Opinions (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Matt Grossmann (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

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