Partisan affiliation is one of the most stable features of the modern American electorate. While individuals’ feelings toward politicians or their attitudes about policy can change quickly, partisanship is a deep-seated identity resistant to change.
Within the last five years, however, we have observed a significant amount of partisan switching — individuals leaving their party to become independents or join the opposite party. While the overall number of Democrats and Republicans looks stable, a significant 13 percent of partisans have changed their affiliation.
What do these changes mean? CONT.
Robert Griffin (Public Religion Research Institute), Voter Study Group