The importance of this study is to determine the relationship between voting and party identification. The party identification significantly affects the outcome of an election. This was especially true in many elections that took place between 1972 and 2008 and this effect is mostly felt on the presidential vote choice.2 The effect of party ID was weaker between 1980 and 2000, but saw a dramatic rise in effect from 2004 to 2008. Ideological reputation is an emerging perception and attitude that citizens portray towards parties. This is the reason for the greater consistency in the policy views of the members of the public and their partisanship. This means the choice of leadership is motivated by partisanship which consequently implies party identification. In examining of these factors we draw the understanding of the nature of election results as well as the dynamics of the American election. Hence it is true that there is a close link of party identification to the voting choices of American citizens.
Mark Twain stated “no party holds the privilege to dictate me how I shall vote. If loyalty to party is a form of patriotism, I am no patriot…”3 Plausible reasons why voters vote against their party identification include long term and short term factors.
Candidate quality also has a bearing on vote choice. For example, incumbents are evaluated based on their previous record of work hence they can or cannot benefit from the voter evaluation depending on the quality of their work.