A Primary Cause of Partisanship? Nomination Systems and Legislator Ideology

TitleA Primary Cause of Partisanship? Nomination Systems and Legislator Ideology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMcGhee E, Masket S, Shor B, Rogers S, McCarty N
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Volume58
Pagination337–351
Date Publishedapr
ISSN15405907
ISBN Number1540-5907
AbstractMany theoretical and empirical accounts of representation argue that primary elections are a polarizing influence. Likewise, many reformers advocate opening party nominations to non-members as a way of increasing the number of moderate elected officials. Data and measurement constraints, however, have limited the range of empirical tests of this argument. We marry a unique new data set of state legislator ideal points to a detailed accounting of primary systems in the United States to gauge the effect of primary systems on polarization. We find that the openness of a primary election has little, if any, effect on the extremity of the politicians it produces.
URLhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/ajps.12070
DOI10.1111/ajps.12070