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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ticket Splitting Likely Rare in November

For John, BLUFFew mix their votes, between Rs and Ds.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Pew Trust is out poking around in the psyche of potential American voters.  This Pew Report is wide ranging, but this section caught my attention, "Ticket Splitters Rare among Voters in Either Party".  In a somewhat biased article, Wikipedia describes "Ticket Splitting".  Here are the words from the article—graphics not included:
As voters become more polarized ideologically, fewer opt to select candidates from more than one political party when they go to the polls.  According to the American National Election Study, ticket-splitting reached an all-time low in 2012 with only 13% of voters selecting a different political party for the U.S. Senate than the U.S. House.

An analysis of voters living in areas with two or three major political contests this November shows that only 12% of registered voters say they are splitting their vote between multiple political parties.  About three-quarters of registered voters (74%) in these areas say they will select candidates from the same party for all major political races in their area, known as “straight ticket” voting.

When narrowed to those most likely to vote in the November election, about eight-in-ten voters (81%) choose a straight party ticket.  They are slightly more likely to select only Republican candidates than only Democratic candidates (43% to 36%).

Ticket Splitters and Ideological ConsistencyMajorities of Democratic (78%) and Republican (74%) registered voters are voting straight down their party’s ticket for major races.  Even among self-identified independents who are registered to vote, 65% say they will vote a straight ticket.  Independents are seven points slightly more likely to choose a straight Republican ticket than a straight Democratic ticket (33% to 26%).

Voters who hold consistent ideological viewpoints are highly likely to vote a straight party ticket.  Nearly nine-in-ten (87%) with consistently conservative views choose Republican candidates down the line, while 84% of those with consistently liberal views choose a straight Democratic ticket.

Even among voters with ideologically mixed views, most (61%) still choose a slate of candidates from one party; 18% split their tickets between parties.

And yet, Congress is split.  Is that due to the fact that it takes three election cycles (six years) for all Senators to come up for an election (vice one cycle, or two years for the whole US House of Representatives) or is the nation fairly evenly split and those few ticket splitters make a big difference?

And, does a state dominated by one party see more ticket splitting?  November may tell us.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

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