chapter  7
6 Pages


This examination of images held by Americans of their political parties has revealed a number of important findings. First, and perhaps most important, Americans do indeed have images of the Republican and Democratic Parties. Political parties continue to have meaning, and references to these parties generate pictures in the minds of Americans. In addition, these mental pictures have become more prevalent in recent years. Party images have risen in frequency since the 1980s, coinciding with the increase we have seen in the importance of partisanship for American politics over the same period. One could certainly make the case that the United States is more partisan today than at any point since the late nineteenth-century era of partisan torchlight parades and massive partisan rallies.1 Recent growth in the frequency of party images likely reflects this partisan resurgence.