Source Cues, Partisan Identities, and Political Value Expression


  • We thank the Institute for Social Science Research at Arizona State University for funding this research and Hooi Hong Khor and Pamela Hunter for administering our survey. In addition, we thank Robert Erikson, Tim Johnson, Joanne Miller, the four anonymous reviewers, and Marianne Stewart for their comments and suggestions on how to improve earlier versions of the manuscript. All remaining errors are our own.

Paul Goren is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 ( Christopher M. Federico is Associate Professor of Psychology and Political Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 ( Miki Caul Kittilson is Associate Professor of Political Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (


This article examines the conditions under which partisan identities shape the positions people express on four political values: equal opportunity, self-reliance, moral traditionalism, and moral tolerance. The theoretical framework posits that (1) party source cues activate latent partisan biases in the minds of citizens, which in turn affect the degree to which individuals express support for these values; (2) out-party cues are more powerful motivators of value expression than in-party cues; (3) value shifts are more pronounced when liberal-conservative identities reinforce partisan sentiments; and (4) partisan cues promote horizontal constraint among these values. These hypotheses are tested using data from a set of experiments appearing on a novel national survey. The empirical results generally support these theoretical expectations.