Political Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 126–138

Neutrality, negativity, or both? A reply to Wattenberg

  • Stephen C. Craig
Article

Abstract

Although there are indications that the two major parties in the U.S. have come to have new meaning for many citizens in the 1980s, Wattenberg's data do provide convincing support for his general argument on declining party salience. The following article attempts to clarify the meaning of this trend and to show that a lack of confidence in political parties as representative institutions is indeed an obstacle to the restoration of partisan attachments at the mass level. Both CPS survey data and depth interview materials are utilized in an effort to understand more fully the complex relationship between the American public and its party system.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., Miller, W. E., and Stokes, D. E. (1960).The American Voter. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Craig, S. C. (1985a). The decline of partisanship in the United States: A reexamination of the neutrality hypothesis.Political Behavior 7: 57–78.Google Scholar
  3. Craig, S. C. (1985b). Measuring political efficacy: Surveys versus depth interviews. Presented at the annual meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago.Google Scholar
  4. Craig, S. C., and Martinez, M. D. (1986). Not a dime's worth of difference: Perceived choice and partisanship in the United States, 1964–1984. Presented at the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  5. Dennis, J. (1986). Public support for the party system, 1964–1984. Presented at the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  6. Hochschild, J. L. (1981).What's Fair? American Beliefs about Distributive Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Key, V. O. (1949).Southern Politics in State and Nation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  8. Konda, T. M., and Sigelman, L. (1985). Public evaluations of the American parties, 1952–1984. Presented at the annual meetings of the Southern Political Science Association, Nashville, Tenn.Google Scholar
  9. Miller, A. H., Wattenberg, M. P., and Malanchuk, O. (1986). Schematic assessments of presidential candidates.American Political Science Review 80: 521–540.Google Scholar
  10. Stanga, J. E., and Sheffield, J. F. (1986). Black and white attitudes toward the parties: The myth of zero partisanship. Presented at the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. Wattenberg, M. P. (1981). The decline of political partisanship in the United States: negativity or neutrality?American Political Science Review 75: 941–950.Google Scholar
  12. Wattenberg, M. P. (1986).The Decline of American Political Parties, 1952–1984. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen C. Craig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of FloridaGainesville

Personalised recommendations