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Partisan Priorities

Partisan Priorities

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Patrick J. Egan
Cambridge University Press, 10/3/2013
EAN 9781107617278, ISBN10: 1107617278

Paperback, 264 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm
Language: English

Americans consistently name Republicans as the party better at handling issues like national security and crime, while they trust Democrats on issues like education and the environment - a phenomenon called 'issue ownership'. Partisan Priorities investigates the origins of issue ownership, showing that in fact the parties deliver neither superior performance nor popular policies on the issues they 'own'. Rather, Patrick J. Egan finds that Republicans and Democrats simply prioritize their owned issues with lawmaking and government spending when they are in power. Since the parties tend to be particularly ideologically rigid on the issues they own, politicians actually tend to ignore citizens' preferences when crafting policy on these issues. Thus, issue ownership distorts the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policies.

1. Introduction
2. Consensus issues
amidst polarization, shared goals
3. The measure and meaning of issue ownership
4. Ruling out the policy and performance hypotheses
5. Partisan priorities
the source of issue ownership
6. How issue ownership distorts American politics
7. Conclusion.