Negative Partisanship: Dislike of the Opposing Party Is a Big Factor in Voting

The 2012 election saw the highest levels of party loyalty and straight-ticket voting since the American National Election Studies began tracking American voting patterns in 1952. Over 90% of Democrats and Republicans, including voters who claimed to be independents but indicated that they leaned toward one party or the other, supported their party’s presidential candidate. Close to 90% supported their party’s House and Senate candidates as well, and 83% cast a straight-party ballot for president, House, and Senate. There is no reason to expect voting…