The replication data and supplemental material are available at http://wfs.cgu.edu/jeongg/research.html. Gyung-Ho Jeong acknowledges financial support from the Fletcher Jones Foundation. Miller and Sened acknowledge financial support of the Weidenbaum Center and the Center for New Institutional Social Sciences [CNISS] at Washington University in St. Louis. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the Public Choice Society. We are grateful to William T. Bianco, Art Denzau, Benoy Jacob, Jean Schroedel, Norman Schofield, Steve Smith, Tom Willett, participants of the Public Choice meeting, three anonymous reviewers, and the editor for their helpful comments. Thanks to Steven Childs, Dong-Wook Lee, and Soomi Lee for their research assistance.
Cracks in the Opposition: Immigration as a Wedge Issue for the Reagan Coalition
Version of Record online: 27 APR 2011
©2011, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 55, Issue 3, pages 511–525, July 2011
How to Cite
Jeong, G.-H., Miller, G. J., Schofield, C. and Sened, I. (2011), Cracks in the Opposition: Immigration as a Wedge Issue for the Reagan Coalition. American Journal of Political Science, 55: 511–525. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2011.00516.x
- Issue online: 5 JUL 2011
- Version of Record online: 27 APR 2011
The absence of a core means that a majority coalition can never choose a policy that will keep it safe from minority appeals to its pivotal members. In two dimensions, strategic minorities will always be able to offer pivotal voters attractive policy concessions. We argue that this instability of multidimensional politics explains why minorities raise wedge issues and how wedge issues result in partisan realignment in legislative politics. Applying agenda-constrained ideal point estimation techniques to immigration debates, we show that the Reagan coalition—pro-business and social conservatives—has been vulnerable on the wedge issue of immigration and that parties have switched their positions on immigration over the last three decades. We use the uncovered set as the best-fit theoretical solution concept in this legislative environment, to capture the limits of majority rule coalitional possibilities and policy change in the two-dimensional absence of a core.