Title

Explaining State Variation in Interparty Ideological Differences

Abstract

This article uses two measures of state party ideology-a 1994 survey of state party committee members and a content analysis of state party platforms between 1990 and 1996-to determine variation between states in interparty ideological differences. These interparty ideological differences are compared to David Mayhew's scale measuring the historical presence of traditional party organizations in the American states. As hypothesized, there is a strong tendency for states with histories of traditional party organization to have less ideologically polarized parties than those states without such traditions. This association holds up when we control for state-level measures of education, income, mass polarization, electoral competition, and party control. State environments that historically encouraged or discouraged the formation of traditional party organizations help explain variation in patterns of party activism in the contemporary era.

Department(s)

Political Science

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.2307/3088048

Keywords

subcultures, state government, correlations, linear regression, state politics, individualism, traditionalism, political partisanship

Publication Date

1998

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