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Los Angeles Times Op-Ed

- May 25, 2008

Apparently, someone at the Los Angeles Times reads The Monkey Cage, because they asked me to write a short piece apropos of these two posts about the “divided” Democrats and the reinforcement effect in campaigns.

The op-ed is here. The gist of the argument is:

bq. Despite ugly battles and policy differences that sometimes seem intractable, the reality is that presidential campaigns tend to unify each party behind its nominee. Political scientists call this phenomenon the “reinforcement effect.”

Some references for works and data cited in the piece:

* The Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and Gaudet study.

* The National Annenberg Election Study.

* The Pew center poll.

* The piece by Ben Highton. Thanks to Ben for doing some additional data analysis for me.

* The National Election Study data showing that 90% of the public identifies with or leans toward one of the major parties.

* Gary Jacobson’s study of public opinion during the Bush administration.