Department

Department of Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Garner

Description

It is widely accepted that polarization is occurring in America. However, the exact nature and extent of this polarization is constantly in question. Empirical researc h has returned results ranging from practical denial to full support to case specific. The examination of polarization in the mass public creates an image of the moderate voter who varies little from the center but is presented only with polarized choices . This project will review the evidence previously put forth on elite polarization and the trickle - down effect with the masses. It will also establish the difference between consistent moderates and inconsistent moderates, which builds off of the Pure and Leaning Independents, and the theoretical impact of these definitions on data collection. Finally, through an ideology skim of issues, it will seek to confirm the existence of bimodal Moderates as a major influencing force in today’s politicized America. The data reveals a different story from the popular image: Moderates constitute more than half of the American electorate and defy the conventional identifiers of uninformed and disinterested.

Comments

Oral Presentation, UW Honors Program

Share

COinS
 

Polarization and Moderates in the American Political Aggregate

It is widely accepted that polarization is occurring in America. However, the exact nature and extent of this polarization is constantly in question. Empirical researc h has returned results ranging from practical denial to full support to case specific. The examination of polarization in the mass public creates an image of the moderate voter who varies little from the center but is presented only with polarized choices . This project will review the evidence previously put forth on elite polarization and the trickle - down effect with the masses. It will also establish the difference between consistent moderates and inconsistent moderates, which builds off of the Pure and Leaning Independents, and the theoretical impact of these definitions on data collection. Finally, through an ideology skim of issues, it will seek to confirm the existence of bimodal Moderates as a major influencing force in today’s politicized America. The data reveals a different story from the popular image: Moderates constitute more than half of the American electorate and defy the conventional identifiers of uninformed and disinterested.