Polarizing Cues

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Date: Jan. 2012
From: American Journal of Political Science(Vol. 56, Issue 1)
Publisher: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Document Type: Report
Length: 170 words

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Abstract :

To authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2011.00541.x Byline: Stephen P. Nicholson (1) Abstract: People categorize themselves and others, creating ingroup and outgroup distinctions. In American politics, parties constitute the in- and outgroups, and party leaders hold sway in articulating party positions. A party leader's endorsement of a policy can be persuasive, inducing co-partisans to take the same position. In contrast, a party leader's endorsement may polarize opinion, inducing out-party identifiers to take a contrary position. Using survey experiments from the 2008 presidential election, I examine whether in- and out-party candidate cues-John McCain and Barack Obama-affected partisan opinion. The results indicate that in-party leader cues do not persuade but that out-party leader cues polarize. This finding holds in an experiment featuring President Bush in which his endorsement did not persuade Republicans but it polarized Democrats. Lastly, I compare the effect of party leader cues to party label cues. The results suggest that politicians, not parties, function as polarizing cues. Author Affiliation: (1)University of California, Merced

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A277448023