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Prenomination Candidate Choice and General Election Behavior: Iowa Presidential Activists in 1980

Walter J. Stone
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 28, No. 2 (May, 1984), pp. 361-378
DOI: 10.2307/2110877
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110877
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Prenomination Candidate Choice and General Election Behavior: Iowa Presidential Activists in 1980
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Abstract

Based on a two-wave survey of presidential activists in Iowa, this study examines the tension parties face between the nomination and general election phases of the presidential selection process. Activists who supported the losing contender for their party's nomination tended to participate less in the fall presidential campaign than supporters of the nomination winners. Kennedy supporters were as active in state and local races as Carter supporters among the Democrats surveyed, but Bush partisans were less active on behalf of the GOP Senate candidate in Iowa than were supporters of Ronald Reagan. These effects of prenomination presidential preference persist when controls for ideology, attachment to the party organization, and past levels of activity are imposed. The data indicate the 1980 prenomination contest had negative consequences for both presidential nominees--consequences best understood as linked to personal loyalty to the losing candidates, rather than to ideological preferences.

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