Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


The United States of America has become increasingly polarized, so elections are more important than ever. This research paper analyzes voting behavior in primary elections throughout the United States. The four most recent Presidential primary election cycles are used as case studies. The purpose of this research is to determine the extent to which voters are more concerned with issues and ideology over electability in primary elections and how changing polarization and the timing of primary elections affects these results. The hypothesis argues that in increasingly polarized eras, voters become less concerned with voting based on issues and ideology; instead, they prioritize electability. The results indicate no causal relationship between polarization and the importance of electability in primary elections. Nevertheless, further research is needed to better understand the relationship between the two.