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An enduring concern about democracies is that citizens conform too readily to the policy views of elites in their own parties, even to the point of ignoring other information about the policies in question. This article presents two experiments that suggest an important condition under which the concern may not hold. People rarely possess even a modicum of(More)
What is a party? This article presents the argument that the formal party apparatus is only one part of an extended network of interest groups, media, other advocacy organizations and candidates. The authors have measured a portion of this network in the United States systematically by tracking lists of names transferred between political organizations. Two(More)
As long as there has been democratic government, skeptics have worried that citizens would base their choices and their votes on superficial considerations. A series of recent studies seems to validate these fears, suggesting that candidates who merely look more capable or attractive perform better in elections. In this article, we examine the underlying(More)
Census Bureau data reveal large, consistent differences in patterns of real pre-tax income growth under Democratic and Republican presidents in the postwar U.S. Democratic presidents have produced slightly more income growth for poor families than for rich families, resulting in a modest decrease in overall inequality. Republican presidents have produced a(More)
This paper uncovers a new mechanism linking oil wealth to autocratic regime survival: increases in oil income lower the risk of ouster by groups that establish new autocratic regimes, not by reducing the likelihood of democratization. We investigate whether oil wealth influences autocratic survival by lowering the chances of democratization, reducing the(More)
Amid signs of renewed scholarly interest in the effects of mass communication in presidential campaigns, the 1995 NES Pilot undertook three mini-studies to improve the measurement of exposure to the mass media. The first involves exposure to TV news, which is believed by some scholars to be the most important influence in presidential campaigns. The second(More)
In the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, John Zaller (1998) suggested that the movement of President’s Clinton’s job approval ratings during and after the scandal posed a serious challenge to a major line of political science research. After plunging when the scandal broke, Clinton’s job ratings recovered, then rose to a level higher than before the(More)
We propose a theory of political parties in which interest groups and activists are the key actors, and coalitions of groups develop common agendas and screen candidates for party nominations based on loyalty to their agendas. This theoretical stance contrasts with currently dominant theories, which view parties as controlled by election-minded politicians.(More)