Ideology Scores

The increase in partisan polarization, the growth of negative partisanship among citizens and the nationalization of political issues has led many scholars to argue that state politics is becoming merely a reflection of the conflict between the national Republican and Democratic parties. This research pushes against this claim by evaluating the affinity of state legislative candidate campaign websites with national party platforms during the 2018 election. Preliminary results indicate that while there are clear partisan divisions, there is also significant variation in state legislative candidate rhetoric. Further research will examine the district demographics that drive this variation and the variables that contribute to polarized campaigns in state races.