How Have Extreme Partisan Politics Affected Voter Turn Out or Behavior?

Topics: Voter turnout, Elections, Election Pages: 3 (827 words) Published: November 4, 2012
"How have extreme partisan politics affected voter turn out or behavior? With the increasing rise of partisan politics in government and elections it seems as if the United States is becoming strictly black and white, Democrat or Republican, with very little room for gray areas in between. The Democratic and Republican parties are moving farther and farther apart from each other with Democrats becoming increasingly closer to the liberal end of the spectrum and Republicans moving towards the conservative end. Voters are seemingly becoming more polarized due to the fact that they have to choose between two extremes, the Democratic or Republican candidate, in elections. Citizens who do fall in the gray area with beliefs that are neither one extreme nor the other are still forced to choose when it comes time for elections.

What influence has the current political state of extreme partisanship certainly had on the voter turn out and participation? Is this influence increasing or decreasing the amount citizens are willing to stay involved in today’s politics? The aim of this research paper is to explore the effect on voters of the recent atmosphere in politics where few elected officials are willing to reach across the aisle and engage in bipartisan compromise. The conflicts in today’s politics may be attracting more voters, allowing them to become more involved with their party of choice or the conflicts may be doing the exact opposite, turning voters away from what they believe should be a united system. With all these ideas in mind this research paper ultimately strives to answer one specific question: Have how extreme partisan politics affected voter turnout and behavior?

Research has determined that having either a particularly high or low voter turnout favors one party, finding that a higher voter turnout helps Democratic candidates and lower voter turnout helps Republican candidates (Nagel and McNulty pp.780-793). With this in mind this theory can also...

Citations: * Jack H. Nagel and John E. McNulty The American Political Science Review , Vol. 90, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 780-793
* Taylor, Andrew. "The Least Productive Congress Ever Exits Washington." Associated Press 23 Sept. 2012: 10. Print.
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