Working Papers

"This One Goes to Twelve: The Ideological Contours of Non-Voting Political Participation in the American Electorate" with Kyle L. Saunders. Preprint.


Despite a vast literature on political participation, scholarship often overlooks potential partisan and ideological differences with regard to voting and non-voting participation.  We argue that whereas voting is more associated with partisanship than ideology, non-voting participation (NVP) is more associated with ideology than partisanship; further, NVP is distinct from, but positively associated with, voting for certain segments of the electorate. Using nationally-representative data from the 2020 American National Election Studies survey (N = 8,280), 2020 Cooperative Election Study (N = 61,000), and American National Election Studies Time Series Cumulative Data (N = 18,157), we add to evidence not only that suggests voting is more associated with partisanship than ideology, but also that distinguishes voting from other types of political activities.  We also find that NVP is more associated with ideology than partisanship, especially for liberals.  We further add to literature that finds a positive relationship between NVP and voting by demonstrating that while there is a consistently positive relationship between strong partisan identity and voting regardless of NVP, the association between NVP and voting is conditional for weaker partisans and Independents.  Given these findings hold across three studies and amidst a wide range of antecedents, the implication is that NVP may be especially important for those with weaker partisan attachments and who do not identify with one of the two major political parties.