This Independent Study investigates the effect of negative partisanship on electoral and non-electoral participation in the 2016 and 2018 U.S. elections. Many scholars have documented and debated the role that political polarization has in influencing public opinion and behavior, but this study specifically attempts to fill a gap with regards to the effects of social polarization on voter turnout and specific non-electoral participation measures. I discuss the relevant literature on political polarization and participation, theorizing that increases in negative partisan identity should correspond with a greater likelihood of participation, both electorally and non-electorally. My findings, while not conclusive, suggest that negative partisanship is predictive of an increased likelihood to non-electorally participate in ways that display discontent, while also diminishing the likelihood of participating politically in ways that display enthusiasm. Additionally, I found the relationship between negative partisanship and voting not be significant.


Corral, Alvaro


Political Science


American Politics | Political Science


Negative Partisanship, Political Polarization, Political Participation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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