Polarized networks: the organizational affiliations of national party convention delegates

Heaney, M. T. , Masket, S. E., Miller, J. M. and Strolovitch, D. Z. (2012) Polarized networks: the organizational affiliations of national party convention delegates. American Behavioral Scientist, 56(12), pp. 1654-1676. (doi: 10.1177/0002764212463354)

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Previous research has documented that the institutional behaviors (e.g., lobbying, campaign contributions) of political organizations reflect the polarization of these organizations along party lines. However, little is known about how these groups are connected at the level of individual party activists. Using data from a survey of 738 delegates at the 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions, we use network regression analysis to demonstrate that co-membership networks of national party convention delegates are highly polarized by party, even after controlling for homophily due to ideology, sex/gender, race/ethnicity, age, educational attainment, income, and religious participation. Among delegates belonging to the same organization, only 1.78% of these co-memberships between delegates crossed party lines, and only 2.74% of the ties between organizations sharing common delegates were bipartisan in nature. We argue that segregation of organizational ties on the basis of party adds to the difficulty of finding common political ground between the parties.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation, Small Grants for Exploratory Research #0842474 and #0842371 and from Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heaney, Dr Michael
Authors: Heaney, M. T., Masket, S. E., Miller, J. M., and Strolovitch, D. Z.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:American Behavioral Scientist
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1552-3381
Published Online:19 October 2012

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