Scott Harris

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Recent research addresses over-time changes in the macro-partisanship of state electorates. A fundamental question related to this research is whether changes in the political preferences of state electorates are primarily driven by compositional changes or voter conversion. In this paper, I argue partisan conversion is likely the predominant driver of shifts in states' political landscape. As to the causes of this conversion, I further argue that larger relative state income growth has been an unappreciated factor in shifting state macropolitics to the right. To test determinants of state political change, I construct regression models of shifts in presidential voting and self-identified ideology from 1990-2010. Results are generally mixed but do provide evidence that compositional changes were insufficient to explain state electorate change over this time period. Findings also indicate state median income growth is a strong predictor of shifts towards both Republican-candidate vote-share and conservative self-identification. Together, these findings support further integration of research concerning the dynamics of state-macro politics with individual-level studies of partisan! ideological conversion.

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