AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: A longstanding challenge in assessing the impact of partisanship on individual attitudes is that party affiliation correlates with underlying dispositions. To offer better estimates of this question than are commonly available, we analyze new individual-panel data on the COVID-19 pandemic from 54,216 US adults between March 2020 and September 2021. Individual-level fixed effects analysis suggests that even accounting for each respondent’s underlying dispositions, partisanship has an independent impact on COVID-19 responses as the pandemic evolves. Building on these results, we leverage state-level variation to examine how a respondent’s co-partisanship with the governor and the governor’s policy choices are related to individual approval of the state response. This analysis, which incorporates state and date fixed effects, finds a strong effect of co-partisanship that is tempered, but not eliminated, by the governor’s policy decisions. Finally, we show that the policy decisions themselves are associated with elite and mass partisanship.
Brandice Canes-Wrone is a professor in the political science department and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. During the course of her career, she has published extensively in the areas of political institutions, mass political behavior, and political economy. Recent publications include ones on individual campaign donors, changes in electoral accountability over time, and the role of executive power on economic outcomes. Canes-Wrone has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served on the editorial boards of numerous political science and political economy journals. She has also served on the boards of the American National Elections Studies, the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, and the Presidents and Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, including as President of the Presidents and Executive Politics Section.
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