Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties
Party identification remained an important determinant of vote choice in the 2008 election. Indeed, the extent to which people voted according to their partisanship remained as exceptionally high as it had been in the 2004 election. The Democrats led in partisanship, with a greater lead than in 2004. The ANES four‐wave panel survey shows that some change occurred in the Democratic direction during 2008. The Democrats gained among most population groups, with the exception of older citizens. Obama's victory margin was due to his carrying pure independents and the growth in strong Democrats as opposed to strong Republicans. Both candidates lost the votes of some partisans who disagreed with them ideologically. The rate of defection among major‐party identifiers to the other major party hit post‐1950 lows in 2004 and 2008, reflecting increased polarization in the electorate. The partisanship shifts of young people and Hispanics could portend realignment, although that depends on their satisfaction with the Obama administration.
Copyright © 2010, Taylor and Francis
Taylor and Francis
Weisberg, Herbert F. and Devine, Christopher J., "Partisan Defection and Change in the 2008 US Presidential Election" (2010). Political Science Faculty Publications. 92.