Resurgent Mass Partisanship Revisited: The Role of Media Choice in Clarifying Elite Ideology Academic Article uri icon


  • Elite polarization is at an all-time high. Has this division filtered down into the public, and is this trend being exacerbated by expanded media choice in the postbroadcast era? Using National Annenberg Election Surveys (NAES) data from recent election cycles, we analyze the influence of news choice on individual-level perceptions of the ideologies of parties and partisan elites. We examine whether cable news choice shapes respondents ability to correctly identify Democrats as the more liberal party, and Republicans as more conservative. Using cross-sectional and panel data, we find that partisan news consumersparticularly those watching Fox Newsare better able to identify the positions and ideologies of partisan elites. Partisan news may help citizens participate more effectively by helping them identify the ideological orientation of the major parties and candidates.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 10.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Darr, J. P., & Dunaway, J. L.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • November 2018