The President, Polarization and the Party Platforms, 19442012 Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractScholars generally agree that political elites in the US are polarized. Yet most of our evidence, especially longitudinal evidence, is built on proxy measures of elite ideology that fail to identify the unique dimensions that drive the cleavages between the parties. And our understanding of when elite polarization reemerged is also unclear. This study leverages the party platforms, along with the tools of content analysis, to shed new light on elite polarization. We find that, consistent with the literature, elite polarization is an asymmetric phenomenon driven by Republicans primarily motivated by economic issues. Further, we show that modern elite polarization emerged starting with the 1980 election.

published proceedings

  • The Forum

author list (cited authors)

  • Jordan, S., Webb, C. M., & Wood, B. D.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Jordan, Soren||Webb, Clayton McLaughlin||Wood, B Dan

publication date

  • April 2014

published in