Academic journal article Political Research Quarterly

Rejoinder to Berry, Ringquist, Fording, and Hanson "Comment"

Academic journal article Political Research Quarterly

Rejoinder to Berry, Ringquist, Fording, and Hanson "Comment"

Article excerpt

In our initial article we asked a straightforward question that was clearly posed in our title: "Does State Political Ideology Change over Time?" (Brace et al. 2004). Even though our study focused on the stability of state-level ideology, Berry et al. construe a footnote as both a validity assessment of their measure and as the primary point of our work.

Nevertheless, as the title of our article indicated, our analysis focused on the relative degree of state-level change present in the leading measures of state ideology. Our original conclusion, unchanged by our analysis of the Berry et al. original measure (as well as our reanalysis of their corrected measure) is that there is vastly more stability than change in state-level ideology. This is the same conclusion reached by Erikson, Wright, and McIver, who say state-level ideology "shows a remarkable stability" (2006: 236) and is "overwhelmingly stable" (SPPQ, n.d.), as well as Norrander, who identifies ideology to have "considerable stability" (SPPQ, n.d.). We continue to believe this a valid conclusion, and Berry et al. are more open to it than they once were. In their initial article they assert that "Evidently, Erikson, Wright, and McIver (1993) are wrong about the general stability of citizens' ideological orientations in the American states-if our measures are sound" (Berry et al. 1998: 336). However, in a forthcoming exchange scheduled to appear in State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Berry et al. soften this assertion: "[t]hus, whether state ideology is relatively stable remains an open question" (n.d.: 25). As an "open question" they must now be entertaining the idea that state ideology could be stable. This marks a sizeable leap from their original position.

Contrary to Berry et al.'s characterization, our article illustrating the dominant stability evident in leading indicators of state ideology (a point they now appear to concede) was not an attack on the validity of their measure. …

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