Relationship of parties and policies

What’s the relationship between party identification and issue positions? Many assume that a voter’s positions determine their party. It ain’t necessarily so.

Indeed, in some instances, the reverse is true: People’s partisanship can determine their issue positions. When they identify with a party and know which party is on what side of an issue, partisanship can count more than policy.

An experiment we conducted with our colleagues at North Star Research in a poll for USA Today and the Bipartisan Policy Center illustrates the point. [cont.]

Mark Mellman