According to the conventional wisdom, political parties are hurt by unaffiliated voters (those who are not registered as Democrats or Republicans). These independents are irresponsible and unpredictable. Recent election law reforms throughout the country have encouraged affiliation by restricting voting in a primary to party members. This study examines the effect of the closed primary system in Connecticut. Research found that since the advent of the primary, the proportion of voters registered as unaffiliated has undergone a steady decline. But the decline in the proportion unaffiliated, however, does not appear to have strengthened partisan commitments. Rather it has changed the meaning of unaffiliated registration. In the past unaffiliated voters tended to be Democrats. Today they are equally likely to be either party.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science