Party identification and party closeness in comparative perspective
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The present analysis uses data from 1974 and 1981 U. S. cross sections, which incorporate a panel, to compare the standard NES measure of party identification (ID) with a measure of partisanship derived from a party closeness question widely employed in cross-national research. Important features of the two scales are examined by transforming the closeness measure into a scale of very close, fairly close, not very close, and no preference corresponding to the seven-point ID scale. The scales are highly correlated and are similar in their reliability. More than 75% of the “independents” in the ID scale choose a party in the closeness version, and over half of these select the “fairly close” category. Respondents do not volunteer that they are independents when that alternative is not stated in the question.
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- Party identification and party closeness in comparative perspective
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