Effects Of Political Polarization On Abortion

1589 Words 7 Pages
Scholars debate whether political polarization has grown among the mass public in the United States. One school of thought does not believe that the public has become more polarized (DiMaggio et. al 1998; Evans 2003; Klinkner 2006; Fiorina et. Al 2008). According to this thought, current measures of polarization conflate citizens’ votes with ideologies. Votes do not directly measure citizens’ ideologies, as citizens take into account candidates’ ideologies as well as their own when voting. On the other side, scholars suspect that the electorate has grown more divided on policy issues (Abramowitz et. al 2008; Adams 1997; Brewer 2005; Layman et. al 2006). This case study defines polarization with Paul DiMaggio’s definition, which believes that …show more content…
Wade (McBride). I want to examine public opinion on abortion after this ruling because it is a contentious and momentous event in abortion history. However, polling data from the source I use occurs only on even years, and data does not exist for questions regarding abortion in 1974. Moreover, I analyze presidential platforms in my case study, and the first presidential election after Roe v. Wade was in 1976. Therefore, I choose 1976 as a starting year for my case study. I choose 2004 as an ending point because it is a recent presidential election year. Presidential election years are useful to compare citizens’ issue positions because of exit polls, as well as increased discussion of issue positions in the news. I choose abortion as a case for mass political polarization because this case is data-rich (Howard, forthcoming 2017: 138), as I use public opinion polls and presidential platforms, which are consistently provided over a period of time, as measures of polarization. Additionally, I choose abortion as a case because it is an easy test (Howard, forthcoming 2017: 130). Abortion as an issue tends to produce extreme, firm opinions, as it is a moral issue that is not particularly sensitive to new information (Adams

Related Documents