“Reassessing the Nature of Perceived Differences between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Public,” Lilla Orr, Yale Ph.D. Candidate
AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: Prior research has reported that Americans hold biased perceptions about the composition of U.S. parties, on both policy and demographic dimensions. Survey respondents estimate that members of the two major parties take more extreme and ideologically consistent policy positions than they do, and vastly overestimate the frequency with which partisans belong to other social groups stereotypically associated with their party. Drawing on a series of novel surveys and survey experiments, we reassess the degree of partisan stereotyping. We argue that evidence of widespread misperceptions may appear, in part, due to systematic measurement error. Additionally, we show that the estimated correlation between education and political interest and greater perceptions of party polarization may reflect differences in measurement error rather than differences in perceptions. This is joint work with Greg Huber.
Lilla Orr is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Political Science. Her research focuses on political polarization and health effects of discrimination. She will be joining the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow before joining the University of Richmond as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics in Fall 2022.
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