State of the Parties: 2020 and Beyond Virtual Conference

The 2020 presidential election was extraordinary: waged under pandemic conditions, it produced a dramatic increase in voter turnout, many close contests, and a tenuous one-party control of the federal government.

Scholars and practitioners from across the United States explored the state of American party organizations, constituencies and resources at the national, state and local level.

Panel Papers and Videos:

John Green, The University of Akron


  • Peak Polarization: Ideological Division, Inter-Party Hostility and the Future of American Democracy
    Alan I. Abramowitz
    , Emory University | Download Paper
  • #Polarized2020: Division and Duress in Partisan Perceptions of COVID-19
    Eric C. Vorst, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Thomas Leath, Lindenwood University | Download Paper and Appendix
  • The Influence of Party ID on COVID-19 Messaging
    Lara Wessel, Georgia Southern University | Download Paper
  • Political Identity and Beliefs about Stolen Elections in the American Electorate
    David C. Kimball, Anita Manion, and Adriano Udani, University of Missouri-St. Louis | Download Paper

David Cohen, The University of Akron


  • The Consequences of Changing Primary Participation Laws for Party Registration and Partisanship
    Barbara Norrander, University of Arizona, and Jay Wendland, Daemen College | Download Paper
  • The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Changing Electoral Rules in the 2020 Presidential Nomination
    Caitlin E. Jewitt, Virginia Tech, and Gregory Shufeldt, University of Indianapolis | Download Paper
  • U.S. Primary Election Competitiveness 2010-2020
    Chapman Rackaway, Radford University | Download Paper
  • What do the 2020 Congressional Primaries Tell Us About the Direction of the Democratic and Republican Parties?
    Robert G. Boatright, Clark University | Download Paper

Regina Wagner, University of Alabama


  • The 2020 Elections and Beyond: An Era of Unstable Majorities Continues
    Morris P. Fiorina, Stanford University | Download Paper
  • The Public versus the Activists: Party Structure in Modern American Politics
    Byron Shafer, University of Wisconsin, and Regina Wagner, University of Alabama | Download Paper
    • Support for Ranked Choice Voting and Partisanship of Voters: Results from a National Survey Experiment
      Joseph Anthony, Oklahoma State University, David C. Kimball, University of Missouri St. Louis, Jamil Scott, Georgetown University, and Jack Santucci, Drexel University | Download Paper

    Anthony Sparacino, University of Richmond


    • State-Level Elected Officials, National Party Organizations, and Partisan Polarization in 2020
      Anthony Sparacino, University of Richmond | Download Paper
    • The Rise of the Unaffiliated Registered Voter in North Carolina
      Michael Bitzer, Catawba College, Christopher Cooper, Western Carolina University, Whitney Ross Manzo, Meredith College, and Susan Roberts, Davidson College | Download Paper
    • Blue Metros, Red States: The Geography of the 2020 Vote in the Swing States
      David F. Damore, Robert E. Lang, and Karen A. Danielsen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas | Download Paper
    • Turning the Natural State Red: The Rise of the GOP in Arkansas
      John Davis, University of Arkansas at Monticello | Download Paper

      Stephen Brooks, The University of Akron


      • From Tea Party to Trump Party
        Ronald B. Rapoport and Henry Crossman, William and Mary | Download Paper
      • Democracy and Disinformation: Trump, the Republican Party and the 2020 Election
        Brian Conley, Suffolk University | Download Paper
      • The Divided Republicans: How the ‘Paranoid Style’ is Re-Shaping Party Politics
        Peter L. Francia, East Carolina University
      • Riot in the Party: Voter Registrations Following the January 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection
        Daniel A. Smith and Sarah Loving, University of Florida | Download Paper

        Mitchell McKinney, The University of Akron


        • Strategic Primordialism: How Political Parties Organize Identity Politics
          Shaheen Mozaffar, Bridgewater State University | Download Paper
        • Party Factions Among the Voters
          Stephen K. Medvic and Berwood A. Yost, Franklin & Marshall College |Download Paper and Appendix
        • Orwell’s Collapse: Partisan Polarization and Its Effect on Language Use
          Jakob A. Miller, Taylor University | Download Paper
        • The Partisan Dynamics of Women in Elective Office: 2020 and Beyond
          Laurel Elder, Hartwick College | Download Paper

          Paul Herrnson, University of Connecticut


          • Super PACs as a New Source of Gender Inequality in Congressional Elections
            Paul S. Herrnson, University of Connecticut and Jennifer Heerwig, Stoney Brook University | Download Paper
            • The Contribution Conundrum of Republican Female Congressional Donors
              Anne Baker, Santa Clara University, and Monica Schneider, Miami University of Ohio | Download Paper
            • Empty Seats, Political Imbalance, and Partisan Asymmetry at the Federal Election Commission
              Karen Sebold, University of Arkansas | Download Paper
            • American Party Politics: Organizational Asymmetry and Raising Stakes in the Competition for Votes Cast Abroad
              Anca Turcu, University of Central Florida | Download Paper

              Jacklyn Kettler, Boise State University


              • State Party Organizations, Independent Expenditures, and Spending Strategies
                Jaclyn J. Kettler, Boise State University, Charles R. Hunt, Boise State University, Michael J. Malbin, University of Albany-SUNY, Brendan Glavin, The Campaign Finance Institute, and Keith E. Hamm, Rice University |Download Paper
              • Nationalized Spending in the 2020 House and Senate Campaigns
                Kenneth M. Miller, University of Nevada, Las Vegas | Download Paper
              • Are Super PACs Super-Efficient? Independent Expenditures in House Elections
                Dante J. Scala, University of New Hampshire | Download Paper
              • The Ground Game in 2020
                Paul A. Beck, The Ohio State University | Download Paper

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