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Presidents and Parties in the Public Mind$
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Gary C. Jacobson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226589206

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226589480.001.0001

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(p.1) One Introduction
Presidents and Parties in the Public Mind

Gary C. Jacobson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces the book’s main arguments and offers a brief outline of each of the chapters to come. It notes that the reciprocal bonds between American presidents and their political parties are nearly as old as the Republic, but that the connection took on a new form with the decline of patronage-based party machines and the dramatic expansion of the executive branch in the twentieth century. Modern presidents’ vastly greater role in national government also gave them a vastly enlarged public presence, magnifying their role as their parties’ preeminent public voice and face. As such, modern presidents have had a deep and pervasive impact on how the public perceives, evaluates, feels about, identifies with, and votes for candidates of their parties. The ensuing chapters take up each of these claims in turn.

Keywords:   presidents, parties, public attitudes, Australian ballot

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