chapter  6
22 Pages

Party Identification

The psychological attachment that most Americans develop toward a political party is called a party identification, or party ID. To most researchers, party attachment is a kind of lasting "team loyalty" that helps people find their place in the group conflicts that characterize the political world. People's party ID tells us more about their political attitudes and behavior than does any other single piece of information. Most Americans, once they have developed party loyalties, tend to keep them. People who do change their party ID often change only its intensity rather than convert to the other party. The fastest-growing groups in the adult population are Latino Americans and young people who came of age politically during the Obama years. If Republicans were to recruit more Latino American candidates, that might dampen the Democrats' appeal to Latino and Hispanic voters. Independence is a cherished value in politics as well as in other areas of American life.