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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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Evaluations of Parties and Party Leaders

Evaluations of Parties and Party Leaders

Three Evaluations of Parties and Party Leaders
Presidents and Parties in the Public Mind

Gary C. Jacobson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how, during the four most recently completed administrations (G.H.W. Bush through Barack Obama), popular assessments of each president’s performance affected the incidence of favorable or positive opinions of their parties generally and of their congressional wings and congressional leaders more specifically. It also examines the president’s effect on party thermometer ratings across administrations from Carter’s through Obama’s using both cross-sectional and panel-study ANES data. It documents powerful presidential effects on partisans of all persuasions, across every administration examined, and for every available measure of president and party affect. The chapter also explores the influence of a president’s job evaluations on favorable or positive views of the rival party, which turns out to be very modest except under special conditions.

Keywords:   presidents, presidential approval, congressional parties, party leaders, party thermometers, Congress

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