Critical Realignments and the Public Opinion Poll

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dc.contributor.author Geer, John Gray
dc.date.accessioned 2010-05-03T19:32:22Z
dc.date.available 2010-05-03T19:32:22Z
dc.date.issued 1991
dc.identifier.citation Geer, John G. "Critical Realignments and the Public Opinion Poll." Journal of Politics 53.2 (1991): 434-53. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0022-3816
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1803/4051
dc.description An article originally published in Journal of Politics, v. 53, no. 2 (May 1991), p. 434-453. en_US
dc.description.abstract "With the advent of the public opinion poll, politicians began to have access to highly reliable information about the electorate's views on issues. Prior to this development, party leaders could only make educated guesses about public opinion. These guesses, however, were often incorrect, since they were based on unsystematic evidence. But armed with polls, parties should avoid such errors, approximating Downs' (1957) assumption of certainty. If so, rational parties should converge near the center of the distribution of public opinion. Or in other words, parties should no longer polarize on highly salient issues that confront the nation. This conclusion has important implications for the study of partisan realignments. The best work on the subject by scholars like Sundquist (1983) and Carmines and Stimson (1989) argue that one requirement for a realignment is that the parties must polarize on an issue of high salience to the public. Yet well-informed, rational parties should not engage in such behavior, suggesting that critical realignments may be things of the past. Note that partisan change still occurs-perhaps along the lines of Key's (1959) notion of secular realignment or Carmines' and Stimson's (1989) concept of 'issue evolution'"--From article. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press en_US
dc.subject Realignment en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Public opinion polls en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Public opinion -- United States en_US
dc.subject.lcsh United States -- Politics and government en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Political parties en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Polarization (Social sciences) en_US
dc.title Critical Realignments and the Public Opinion Poll en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.college College of Arts and Science en_US
dc.description.department Department of Political Science en_US

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