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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rightward Shift

At The Monkey Cage, Peter Enns writes:
Recently on this blog, Larry Bartels drew attention to an astonishing fact: the public is as conservative as it has been in 50 years. To highlight this point, Professor Bartels presented the public’s policy mood — James Stimson’s measure of public support for government programs—from 1950 to 2012. In a recent article, Julianna Koch and I generated measures of policy mood for each state from the 1950s to 2010 (our measures our here). What we found is that the conservative opinion shift Professor Bartels highlighted repeats itself in every state.
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What does the public’s conservative shift suggest for future public opinion? That depends a lot on the 2016 election. The public’s policy preferences typically move in the opposite direction of public policy (especially for policies related to government spending). Thus, if a Republican is elected president in 2016 and policy shifts in a conservative direction, we should expect a liberal turn in public opinion.