Cloth $61.00 ISBN: 9780226473642 Published December 2009
Paper $22.00 ISBN: 9780226473659 Published December 2009
E-book $7.00 to $22.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226473673 Published December 2009

The Partisan Sort

How Liberals Became Democrats and Conservatives Became Republicans

Matthew Levendusky

The Partisan Sort
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See the web appendix referenced in the book.

Matthew Levendusky

200 pages | 11 line drawings, 11 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2009
Cloth $61.00 ISBN: 9780226473642 Published December 2009
Paper $22.00 ISBN: 9780226473659 Published December 2009
E-book $7.00 to $22.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226473673 Published December 2009

As Washington elites drifted toward ideological poles over the past few decades, did ordinary Americans follow their lead? In The Partisan Sort, Matthew Levendusky reveals that we have responded to this trend—but not, for the most part, by becoming more extreme ourselves. While polarization has filtered down to a small minority of voters, it also has had the more significant effect of reconfiguring the way we sort ourselves into political parties.

 

In a marked realignment since the 1970s—when partisan affiliation did not depend on ideology and both major parties had strong liberal and conservative factions—liberals today overwhelmingly identify with Democrats, as conservatives do with Republicans. This “sorting,” Levendusky contends, results directly from the increasingly polarized terms in which political leaders define their parties. Exploring its far-reaching implications for the American political landscape, he demonstrates that sorting makes voters more loyally partisan, allowing campaigns to focus more attention on mobilizing committed supporters. Ultimately, Levendusky concludes, this new link between party and ideology represents a sea change in American politics.

Marc J. Hetherington | Public Opinion Quarterly

“An excellent book, one I would recommend to scholars of American public opinion as well as those who follow American electoral politics closely.”

Contents
List of figures

List of tables

Acknowledgements

CHAPTER 1. The Transformation of the American Electorate

CHAPTER 2. Why Voters Sort

CHAPTER 3. Have Voters Sorted?

CHAPTER 4. Testing Competing Explanations for Sorting

CHAPTER 6. How Voters Sort

CHAPTER 7. The Impact of the Sorted

Appendix Data Used

Notes

Bibliography

Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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