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Reexamining the Relationship Between Divided Government and Voter Turnout

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Date Issued:
2019
Abstract/Description:
This thesis reexamines the effect of divided government on voter turnout originally posited byFranklin and Hirczy de Mi(&)#241;o (1998), which suggested that each year of exposure to dividedgovernment resulted in a cumulative negative effect on voters leading to alienation and lowerturnout. It reconsiders this argument using more recent data, given that voter turnout in U.S.presidential elections (as measured by the Voting Eligible Population) has increased since 2000,even though divided government has occurred during this period.This thesis also uses new data and methods to address concerns about the original aggregatelevelresearch design. The research question is tested at the individual-level of analysis todetermine if divided government does interact with political trust to lower turnout. Previousresearch assumed this relationship since there is no aggregate-level proxy for political trust. Byusing survey data from the American National Election Studies it is now possible to test the fulltheory.The aggregate-level models show that misspecifications in the research design of Franklinand Hirczy de Mi(&)#241;o resulting in multicollinearity, and in two instances autocorrelation, whichresulted in a failure to reject the null hypothesis. The individual-level models show that dividedgovernment interacts with low levels of political trust to increase voter turnout, falsifying theargument about the effect of divided government on turnout. Overall, the thesis suggests that theimplications of an aspect of the American political system that renders it distinguishable frommost other advanced-industrial democracies(-)divided party control of the executive andlegislative branches(-)should be reassessed. More generally, the thesis demonstrates theimportance of reevaluating hypotheses in political science with the most recent data and morerobust methods in order to establish whether those original hypotheses are still supported
Title: Reexamining the Relationship Between Divided Government and Voter Turnout.
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Name(s): Beck, Heidi, Author
Knuckey, Jonathan, Committee Chair
Jewett, Aubrey, Committee Member
Lanier, Drew, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis reexamines the effect of divided government on voter turnout originally posited byFranklin and Hirczy de Mi(&)#241;o (1998), which suggested that each year of exposure to dividedgovernment resulted in a cumulative negative effect on voters leading to alienation and lowerturnout. It reconsiders this argument using more recent data, given that voter turnout in U.S.presidential elections (as measured by the Voting Eligible Population) has increased since 2000,even though divided government has occurred during this period.This thesis also uses new data and methods to address concerns about the original aggregatelevelresearch design. The research question is tested at the individual-level of analysis todetermine if divided government does interact with political trust to lower turnout. Previousresearch assumed this relationship since there is no aggregate-level proxy for political trust. Byusing survey data from the American National Election Studies it is now possible to test the fulltheory.The aggregate-level models show that misspecifications in the research design of Franklinand Hirczy de Mi(&)#241;o resulting in multicollinearity, and in two instances autocorrelation, whichresulted in a failure to reject the null hypothesis. The individual-level models show that dividedgovernment interacts with low levels of political trust to increase voter turnout, falsifying theargument about the effect of divided government on turnout. Overall, the thesis suggests that theimplications of an aspect of the American political system that renders it distinguishable frommost other advanced-industrial democracies(-)divided party control of the executive andlegislative branches(-)should be reassessed. More generally, the thesis demonstrates theimportance of reevaluating hypotheses in political science with the most recent data and morerobust methods in order to establish whether those original hypotheses are still supported
Identifier: CFE0007783 (IID), ucf:52363 (fedora)
Note(s): 2019-12-01
M.A.
Sciences, School of Politics, Security and International Affairs
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Divided Government -- Voter Turnout -- ANES -- Franklin and Hirczy de Mino 1998 -- Franklin and de Mino 1998 -- Voter Alienation -- Political Trust -- Trust in Government -- American Government -- United States Government -- U.S. Government -- Congress -- Presidency -- Voting Eligible Population -- VEP -- Voting Age Population -- VAP -- NES -- Replication -- Voting -- Voter -- Vote -- Election -- Low Turnout -- Seperation of Powers
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007783
Restrictions on Access: public 2019-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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