"Presidential Influence on Democratic Norms" (Job Market Paper)
Do voters value democracy enough to prioritize it over loyalty to party? The United States is currently at a unique crossroads where its president was a blatant and repeated offender of violating democratic norms. At the same time, partisanship is at an all-time high in the United States, which has been shown to be an extremely loyal force. With both of these ideas pitted against each other, this paper examines how voters respond when asked to make the trade-off between party loyalty and essential democratic norms. Using two original survey experiments that vary explicit and implicit partisanship cues, I show that respondents generally recognize the increasing severity of democratic norm violations. However, while Democratic respondents cede the party-democracy trade-off and protect democracy when given explicit cues on a norm violation, Republicans do not; in most scenarios, Republicans are more likely to think a norm violation is democratically appropriate when done by a Republican president. When shown partisan reasons for postponing an election with and without partisan labels, both parties are more likely to side with their party's labeled idea, and less likely to side with their party's unlabeled idea. However, Republicans' level of support is higher than Democrats' support even for their co-partisan, showing the lack of boundaries for Republicans around democratic norms. This reveals just how strong the partisan leadership effect is for a president. Perhaps most importantly, this paper highlights the stark differences between the two major political parties in their commitment to democracy: Democrats are willing to put their party aside to sanction democratic norm violations from the president, while Republicans maintain their allegiance to party against democracy.
Aldridge, Alejandra Gimenez, Christopher F. Karpowitz, J. Quin Monson, and Jessica Robinson Preece. 2020. "How Political Parties Can Diversify Their Leadership" in Good Reasons to Run, ed. Mirya Holman, Rachel Bernhard, Shauna Shames, and Dawn Teele. Temple University Press.
"Selection Effects and Self-Presentation: How the Double Bind Strangles Women's Representation" with Chris Karpowitz, Quin Monson, and Jessica Preece. (R&R at APSR)
"Persistence of Treatment Effects from 'How to Elect More Women: Gender and Candidate Success in a Field Experiment'" with Chris Karpowitz, Quin Monson, and Jessica Preece. (R&R at JEPS)
"Do Voters Hold Politicians Accountable for Policy Decisions? It Depends When You Ask" with David Broockman
Works in Progress
"Presidents and Institutional Legitimacy" (with Jeremy Pope)
"Improving Survey Accuracy When Asking About Democracy"