Elias Tsakas

Department of Economics
Maastricht University

 Home   Curriculum Vitae   Research   Teaching   Pictures   Research Links   Other Links 
Affective polarization and election expectations
(with Maxim Doiron, Kaj Thomsson & Alexander Vostroknutov)

The rise in polarization in American politics over recent decades has attracted plenty of interest both in academia and in the broader public discussion. However, the connection between affective polarization and individuals’ election expectations is virtually unexplored and poorly understood. Exploring this connection is critical to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of rising affective polarization; there may, for instance, exist a link between violated election expectations and support for extreme post-election reactions. In October 2020, we asked a set of survey participants to complete positive and negative partisanship scales as well as their probabilistic assessments of the presidential candidates’ chances of winning. For both Democrats and Republicans we found a strong positive association between negative partisanship and the likelihood of winning assigned by voters to the presidential candidate of the same party. This indicates that there is a link between affective polarization and election expectations, and that negative partisanship may be the most important facet of that relationship.