Party Hoppers: Understanding Voters Who Switched Partisan Affiliation

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