Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies


Ballot, Vote Choices


Political parties are both praised and criticized in our society. People acknowledge that parties serve important functions as they organize the electorate, simplify voter choices, and help voters elect leaders that will carry out their desired policies (Dalton, Farrell, and McAllister 2011). However, other people blame political parties for the increasing polarization and gridlock in our government, and some people claim that individuals rely too heavily on partisan cues and not enough on information about political candidates when determining their vote choice. Because political parties perform such important tasks, we expect individuals to vote differently in the absence of party cues. We use a survey experiment to assess the extent to which the indication of candidates' partisanship on a hypothetical ballot actually affects vote choice.