SAGE Journal Articles
Abstract: The candidate selection process in the United States has been, since the second half of the 20th century, one of the most inclusive and decentralized among the developed democracies. While such systems often presuppose party weakness or lack of control over the process, this article shows that patterns of campaign finance indicate that party weakness over candidate selection in the U.S. case may be overestimated. It also argues that a very open selection process offers opportunities for insurgent movements within parties that bring new ideas and demands. Finally, it suggests that political culture may mediate the relationship between party strength and democratized selection methods.
Journal Article 2: Conners, J. L. (2017). Party animals of the 2016 Presidential Primaries: Political cartoon representations of the Republican and Democratic parties, American Behavioral Scientist, 61(6), 600–610.
Abstract: This analysis of political cartoon coverage of the 2016 presidential primaries found considerable attention given to the political parties themselves, as well as issues, and controversies the parties were facing. In political cartoons, the Republican and Democratic parties were usually reflected in animal representations of the elephant and donkey. A qualitative textual analysis of cartoon images from U.S. newspapers found a number of themes emerged in 2016 with regard to the party animals: Both parties were portrayed expressing reluctance or hesitancy in their party’s nominee, the Republican Party in particular was represented as helpless to stop the political success that Donald Trump saw in the primaries, and the Democratic Party was portrayed as divided between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. These themes found in political cartoon images suggest how the two dominant political parties operate in electoral politics today.