This study examines the relationship between primary divisiveness and general election results in gubernatorial and senatorial elections. Previous work in this area has been unable to substantiate this relationship. However, these inconclusive results may be due in part to conceptual and methodological shortcomings. We attempt to avoid such pitfalls in an effort to test the divisive primary hypothesis more effectively. Our study, which analyzes separately gubernatorial and senatorial elections, reveals that a divisive primary adversely affects a party's chance for general election victory. Curiously, the analysis also demonstrates that divisive primaries disadvantage senatorial candidates more than gubernatorial candidates, and Democrats more than Republicans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science