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Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats

Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats

ISBN 9780190626594
Publisher Oxford University Press Inc
Publication Date
The Republican Party is best understood as the vehicle of an ideological movement whose leaders prize commitment to conservative doctrine; Republican candidates primarily appeal to voters by emphasizing broad principles and values. In contrast, the Democratic Party is better characterized as a coalition of social groups seeking concrete government action from their allies in office, with group identities and interests playing a larger role than abstract ideology in connecting Democratic elected officials with organizational leaders and electoral supporters. Building on this core distinction, Asymmetric Politics investigates the most consequential differences in the organization and style of the two major parties. Whether examining voters, activists, candidates, or officeholders, Grossman and Hopkins find that Democrats and Republicans think differently about politics, producing distinct practices and structures. The analysis offers a new understanding of the rise in polarization and governing dysfunction and a new explanation for the stable and exceptional character of American political culture and public policy.

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