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The polarization of public opinion about competence

The polarization of public opinion about competence
The polarization of public opinion about competence
The existing literature on polarization has focused predominantly on spatial polarization and partisanship. This paper extends the focus of polarization to the literature on issue ownership, and competence. Using ANES data from 1972 to 2012, we identify a pattern of partisan polarization in competence assessments in parallel with elite polarization in the US and some evidence of increasing competence ratings for US parties as they polarize. Partisan polarization of competence assessments is robust to the inclusion of spatial proximity controls. As an additional test of our expectations and using British Election Study data from 1963 to 2014, we reveal partisan polarization followed by depolarization, consistent with elite-level dynamics in Britain. The implications are important for a) our understanding of the implications of polarization in the US, and of depolarization in the UK, and b) better general understanding of the dynamics of public opinion about competence.
Green, Jane
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Jennings, Will
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Green, Jane
cff6cee4-a008-4a79-ad4f-bab7f80ff1fd
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7

Green, Jane and Jennings, Will (2015) The polarization of public opinion about competence. American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, US, 3 - 6 Sep 2015, San Francisco, United States. 02 - 06 Sep 2015.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

The existing literature on polarization has focused predominantly on spatial polarization and partisanship. This paper extends the focus of polarization to the literature on issue ownership, and competence. Using ANES data from 1972 to 2012, we identify a pattern of partisan polarization in competence assessments in parallel with elite polarization in the US and some evidence of increasing competence ratings for US parties as they polarize. Partisan polarization of competence assessments is robust to the inclusion of spatial proximity controls. As an additional test of our expectations and using British Election Study data from 1963 to 2014, we reveal partisan polarization followed by depolarization, consistent with elite-level dynamics in Britain. The implications are important for a) our understanding of the implications of polarization in the US, and of depolarization in the UK, and b) better general understanding of the dynamics of public opinion about competence.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: September 2015
Venue - Dates: American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, US, 3 - 6 Sep 2015, San Francisco, United States, 2015-09-02 - 2015-09-06
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 380499
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/380499
PURE UUID: ab720d32-e517-4ae6-8a23-92bb3d95455e
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

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Date deposited: 16 Sep 2015 12:26
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 03:53

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Contributors

Author: Jane Green
Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD

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