Profiles in party switching: The case of Southern Party activists

Seth C. McKee, Antoine Yoshinaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We examine the demographic profiles of southern county-level activists, who switched parties to see how they may differ from other activists affiliated with the party they converted to. Methods: With data from the 1991–92 and 2001 Southern Grassroots Party Activists (SGPA) projects, we use descriptive and multivariate analysis to determine which demographic characteristics distinguish party-switching activists from non-switching activists. Results: Across several important demographics, party-switching activists are significantly different from the non-switching activists of the party the former group converted to. Conclusions: In an increasingly contentious political era, the conversion of activists into opposite parties is one avenue by which the demographic makeup of party coalitions may shift, as party-switching activists differ from activists who have never changed their affiliation. Converts can also bring different ideological and issue positions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1615-1637
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


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