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date: 23 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Ever since the appearance of The American Voter, there has been a general consensus among political scientists that three variables stand out as the most critical proximal influences on voting: personal attachments to political parties; individual reactions to public policy controversies; and evaluations of the candidates' personal characteristics. The theoretical importance of party identification stems from its temporal stability and broad influence across a range of other political beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. It is also significant because partisan attachments help to integrate individuals into the political world. Feelings about the candidates comprise a very reasonable heuristic device for cutting through the complexities that abound in any election campaign. The American Voter emphasized the importance of election-specific ‘short-term forces’.

Keywords: The American Voter, political parties, public policy, candidates, political behavior, partisan attachments, election campaign

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