JSU Student Symposium 2022

The Reasoning Behind the Political Divides in America


The Reasoning Behind the Political Divides in America



Faculty Mentor

Manabu Saeki, Public Administration


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Submission Type



9:00-9:15am | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor


The current American political environment is dominated by two political theories that provide reasoning behind the widening divide between political parties. The polarization theory, supported by Alan Abramowitz, suggests that the American public has become increasingly polarized, or divided, over the years due to racial and sexual issues in the social world which has led to a two-party system that is largely divided along these lines. The party-sorting theory, supported by Morris Fiorina, argues that it is not the public that has polarized overtime but the political parties themselves, forcing most Americans to choose between one extreme or the other. The party-sorting theory suggests that liberal Republicans have changed allegiance to the Democrat party and conservative Democrats have changed allegiance to the Republican party while the American public has stayed relatively moderate. This essay will discuss the differences between the two theories, the scientific data that supports each theory, and the importance of how the Rising American Electorate is evolving both theories.


student research, political science


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American Politics

The Reasoning Behind the Political Divides in America