The Role of Party Identification in Spatial Models of Voting Choice
Political Science Research and Methods
641 - 658 p.
Party identification and issue preferences are central explanatory factors in many voting choice models. Their effects on party preferences are usually understood to be additive. That is, issue preferences’ impact on party utilities is assumed to be the same among both party identifiers and nonidentifiers. This article suggests an alternative model in which party identification moderates the impact of issues on the vote. The impact of issue preferences on party utilities should be weaker among voters who identify with a party. This hypothesis is tested using data from four recent Dutch election studies. The results show that identifying with a party substantially weakens the issue preference effect on party evaluations, particularly for the party with which a voter identifies.