Party Strengths And Weaknesses

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Some of this is not self-explanatory, so in the remainder of this chapter I will define the variables and start to explain why I included them in one or more of my models.
Dependent Variables Here, I focus on three different measures of party strength that will be the dependent variable in these analyses. Why focus on party strength? Party strength is a regional measure of two joint processes: (1) recruiting candidates; and (2) getting them elected. Both are important processes in causing an electoral realignment (Burnham 1970). These two processes are closely related. A candidate, particularly a quality candidate, is more likely to run if he/she believes he/she is likely to receive the votes needed to win. Voters are more likely to vote
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There is another simple reason to focus on party strength: policy. Not only does party strength mean different politicians going to Washington, D.C. to affect national policy, but party strength also represents politicians with differing issue positions representing their respective constituencies in state legislatures, the governor’s mansion, and county buildings. Party strength is a measure of the ability of a party to get people to vote for its candidates and the ability of the party to affect policy. The post-World War II shift in party strength was part of a…show more content…
First, there is Party strength (MPI.) This variable comes from the article “A New Measure of Party Strength” by James W. Ceasar and Robert P. Saldin. This score is based upon the two party vote totals for elections for President, Senators, the House of Representatives, and Governor, and accounts for the proportion of votes a party received in state legislative elections (2006) . This variable weights each type of election equally. Party strength is calculated for every two years (the election years) for each state using the current or most recent elections to make this measure. All observations are present for each state election year so no imputation is needed. Party strength ranges from 0 to 1, with 0 being total Democratic dominance and 1 being total Republican dominance. The mean for this measure is 0.399 with a maximum of 0.741 and a minimum of 0.001. I used this measure of party strength because it moves over time and it can be bifurcated to measure strength in elections for national and state offices. This makes it superior to other measures of party strength for my
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