The Use of Party Brand Labels in Congressional Election Campaigns
Legislative Studies Quarterly
In spite of the centrality of partisanship to many theories of lawmaking, and the important role that party cues play in shaping voters’ evaluations of political candidates, remarkably little is known about the circumstances under which congressional candidates use partisan symbols on the campaign trail. Employing data on candidates’ televised advertisements over six elections (1998–2008), the present study explores the “supply side” of partisan cues and finds that candidates are strategic about their use of party symbols. And while personal and district-level factors influence how candidates utilize partisan rhetoric, we show that the institutional context in which they campaign also matters.