Split-ticket voting and divided government: Intentional choices or unintended consequences.
AuthorTheis, John Joseph, III.
Committee ChairRusk, Jerrold G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractExplanations of divided government have focused on the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties as the reason for partisan patterns of divided government. Yet the literature on split-ticket voting emphasizes the declining importance of parties in shaping vote choices. This dissertation investigates the apparent inconsistency and proposes an institutional resources model of split-ticket voting and divided government. The institutional resources model argues that changes in the presidency and congress in the face of declining parties is responsible for the United States experience with divided government. Using survey data and aggregate election returns the dissertation tests the dominant explanations of divided government against the institutional resources model. It concludes by arguing that partisan patterns of divided government are less the result of differences in the parties today but rather the different historical circumstances of the two parties, particularly in the South, as institutional politics supplanted party politics.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science