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In the United States, Macropartisanship is a term used to explain the shifts in political party affiliation with relation to presidential popularity and political events such as wars or scandals. There is strong evidence to prove that in the presidential popularity and party identification move together. For example, in the 1980’s, there was strong support for Republican President Ronald Reagan. Although the number of Republicans did not actually increase, the voters simply responded to the political world. Another example of this occurred in the 1960’s with the election of the popular Democratic President John F. Kennedy. Macropartisanship shows that people respond to the political world when making up their party identification. Older and more politically sophisticated people are less likely to take current events into account because they are more set in their ways.[citation needed] Normally, those affected by outside influences tend to be young, and/or weakly affiliated identifiers.[citation needed] Macropartisanship is one of several attempts made by political scientists in recent years to explain the disconnect between individuals who seem to be relatively uninformed on political matters and public opinion, which seems to respond rationally to political figures and events. The term Macropartisanship was first used by American political scientists Michael MacKuen, Robert Erikson and James Stimson in 1989 [1] to describe the overall balance between the Republican and Democratic Parties in the United States. In the work of MacKuen and his colleagues, as well as in the later work drawing on the concept, Macropartisanship theory begins with the notion that short-term shifts in the party balance are systematic, rather than random (as in the "non-attitudes" explanation put forward by Converse in "The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics," 1964). These shifts can be the result of presidential popularity, subjective views of the economy, or political events such as wars or scandals, and are measured through the series of party identification questions used on a variety of surveys. While this work has been widely cited, it has not been non-controversial. The most serious criticisms of this findings come from a measurement theory perspective, and argue that much of the variation in party identification is due to measurement error, rather than any real change.[2] Voter sophistication This article's tone or style may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. Specific concerns may be found on the talk page. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (January 2008) This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008) The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (January 2008) Before we can fully understand Macropartisanship we must understand the difference between the sophisticated voter and the unsophisticated voter. The sophisticated voter is a voter who is fully aware of the political environment around him/her. They are able to filter and process political jargon without help. The sophisticated voter is able to turn on the tv and watch a random episode of Hardball without being lost. The sophisticated voter also is a very partisan voter. They usually have a very set political id. This is what enables them to interrupt and understand the political world. Because of their partisan views they are able to filter political events in way that allows them to understand. When sophisticated voters are asked about their political id they construct the answer from memory. They remember their partisan views thus are able to answer the question without being influenced by current events. The unsophisticated voter is someone who does not understand the complexities of the political world. They are able to go about their daily lives without giving much thought to the daily occurrences in government. They don’t care about what happens because they don’t understand what happens. If the unsophisticated voter turns on the TV and puts Hardball on they would not be able to decipher what is going on. When the unsophisticated voter is asked about his/her political id they construct their answer on the spot. This is why their political id is more fluid than sophisticated voters. The paradox between the sophisticated voter and the unsophisticated voter is that it is the unsophisticated voter who is more affected by current events. Even though the sophisticated voter is the one who is able to understand the implications of current policies, it is the unsophisticated voter that is more responsive to the consequences of these policies. For example, the sophisticated voter who supports the Republican Party would still be inclined to support the president’s policy in Iraq even though they may understand that the policy is flawed (this is a matter of political opinion used solely for illustration). The unsophisticated voter may not understand why the policy is flawed or how exactly it is affecting the country they just know that it is bad. People who are more likely to be unsophisticated voters are young people who have not fully formed their political id. Older people tend to be sophisticated voters. The reason why partisan voters tend to be sophisticated voters is because it is their partisan views that allow them to filter the political world into terms that they can understand. It is easier to understand a view if you can divide it in terms of good guys and bad guys. Macropartisanship tells us that a person’s political id is most likely to fluctuate or shift in response to current events when they are young unsophisticated voters. An older person who is a sophisticated voter will not shift their view based on the current political environment. References ^ Mackuen, Michael D., Robert S. Erikson, and James A. Stimson. 1989. “Macropartisanship.” American Political Science Review 83(4):1125–1142. ^ Green, Donald, Bradley Palmquist and Eric Schickler. 1998. “Macropartisanship: A Replication and Critique.” American Political Science Review 92(4):883–899.