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Profiles in party switching: The case of Southern Party activists

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Social Science Quarterly

Published online on

Abstract

["Social Science Quarterly, EarlyView. ", "\nABSTRACT\n\nObjective\nWe examine the demographic profiles of southern county‐level activists, who switched parties to see how they may differ from other activists affiliated with the party they converted to.\n\n\nMethods\nWith data from the 1991–92 and 2001 Southern Grassroots Party Activists (SGPA) projects, we use descriptive and multivariate analysis to determine which demographic characteristics distinguish party‐switching activists from non‐switching activists.\n\n\nResults\nAcross several important demographics, party‐switching activists are significantly different from the non‐switching activists of the party the former group converted to.\n\n\nConclusions\nIn an increasingly contentious political era, the conversion of activists into opposite parties is one avenue by which the demographic makeup of party coalitions may shift, as party‐switching activists differ from activists who have never changed their affiliation. Converts can also bring different ideological and issue positions.\n\n"]