Argument for the Direct Primary.
- Herrera, Richard
- Journal of Politics
The Perot candidacy in 1992 is appropriately understood as an important extension of candidate-centered politics in U.S. presidential politics. Our purpose in this paper is to demonstrate a link between participation in the 1992 Perot campaign, and active involvement in U.S. House races in 1994. Our analysis takes into account two rival hypotheses in accounting for active participation in 1994 congressional campaigns: predispositions to participate in House campaigns, and mobilization effects linked to the compelling choice our respondents may have faced in 1994. We employ a panel design to impose aggressive controls, but we find a consistent significant effect on 1994 major-party activity of mobilization in the 1992 Perot campaign. Despite the strongly anti-party character of the Perot movement, and even in a sample of relatively independent, anti-party, and disaffected Perot activists, this “spillover” effect from one campaign to another is present, and leads us to question the degree to which candidate-centered politics undermines the long-term interests of the two major parties.