Essay on The Effects Of Partisan Cues On The Voting Behavior

808 Words Sep 26th, 2015 4 Pages
Partisan cues have been a factor in democratic societies throughout history, providing the general public with a sort of heuristic upon which they may make inferences about a candidate or party’s policy positions based on their partisan affiliation. Political scientists, researchers and analysts from a wide variety of disciplines generally agree that basic party identification is the most influential of these cues, particularly in impacting voting behavior. These cues are said to activate subconscious ideological biases, encouraging citizens to align their own political views and policy positions with those of the mainstream political elite (Druckman). While the effects of our dramatically polarized society are clear, the implications of this partisan trend are disputed. Some experts claim that these partisan cues lead to an ill informed electorate with a lower quality of political opinions (Druckman), while others claim that these cues promote civic participation by allowing the less politically sophisticated members of a community to more accessibly participate in the political process (Baum). Partisan cues are most effective at influencing general public opinion, particularly in low information electorates. While they are most pronounced in self-identified partisans, these cues work by stimulating the latent partisan biases present in most voters. Modern voters are also more inclined to utilize motivated reasoning, disregarding information that does not reinforce their…

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