Presidential Influence on Democratic Norms

Thursday, September 30, 2021
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Online, via Zoom

About the Seminar: Do voters value their political party over democracy? This paper examines how citizens make the trade-off between party loyalty and democracy when a president of their party violates essential democratic norms. Using two large-n original survey experiments, I show that partisanship is a predominant lens through which people view democracy. I find that, while in the aggregate people are fairly sensitive to differences in the severity of norm violations, they often choose their party and their president over support for those norms. Additionally, I demonstrate that members of the Democratic and Republican parties are starkly different in their treatment of democracy; Republican respondents have a higher tolerance for norm violations than Democratic respondents in all scenarios. This paper highlights the influence presidents have over democracy due to strong party allegiance.



About the Speaker: Alejandra is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Stanford University. She studies how Americans think about democracy in an era of polarized politics and how presidents influence conceptions of democratic norms. Broadly, her research interests include presidential influence, democratic norms, voter behavior, presidential elections, experimental methods, survey methodology, and gender and politics. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Political Science.

Alejandra Aldridge