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Campaign Participants and Interest Group Activists: Not So Strange Bedfellows
Unformatted Document Text:  19 the perspective of the party this is beneficial if it means that campaigning over time continues to integrate campaign activists into the groups comprising the party. [Table 6 about here] Testing the Mechanism of Friendship Groups Our results are certainly compatible with a theory that attributes the effects of campaign activity on interest group activity to friendship group formation, but we have not been able to test this except indirectly—based on the persistence of the effects that we have found even eight years later. Fortunately, our data do allow us to test this mechanism far more directly. In the 1994 wave of the panel, respondents were asked specifically about their personal connections to others who are involved in interest groups. As shown in Table 7, a large number – approximately one out of four – reported having three or more friends and family members actively engaged in feminist, civil rights, environmentalist, or liberal ideological organizations. Not surprisingly, responses to these items tended to overlap. Democrats who had close personal connections to individuals who were active in women’s rights groups, for example, were also likely to have friends and family involved in other causes. 10 Only 28% stated that none of the people who were close to them were active in these organizations. [Table 7 about here] Interpersonal networks, we argue, can facilitate the spillover of party-based participation into the interest group system. Friends and family members share information, encourage each other, and highlight issues of common concern (Huckfeldt and Sprague 1995; Parker, Parker and McCann 2008). The constellation of interest 10 When the four items are factor analyzed, they load cleanly on a single dimension that accounts for two- thirds of the total variation.

Authors: Rapoport, Ronald. and McCann, James.
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19
the perspective of the party this is beneficial if it means that campaigning over time
continues to integrate campaign activists into the groups comprising the party.
[Table 6 about here]
Testing the Mechanism of Friendship Groups
Our results are certainly compatible with a theory that attributes the effects of
campaign activity on interest group activity to friendship group formation, but we have
not been able to test this except indirectly—based on the persistence of the effects that we
have found even eight years later. Fortunately, our data do allow us to test this
mechanism far more directly. In the 1994 wave of the panel, respondents were asked
specifically about their personal connections to others who are involved in interest
groups. As shown in Table 7, a large number – approximately one out of four – reported
having three or more friends and family members actively engaged in feminist, civil
rights, environmentalist, or liberal ideological organizations. Not surprisingly, responses
to these items tended to overlap. Democrats who had close personal connections to
individuals who were active in women’s rights groups, for example, were also likely to
have friends and family involved in other causes.
10
Only 28% stated that none of the
people who were close to them were active in these organizations.
[Table 7 about here]
Interpersonal networks, we argue, can facilitate the spillover of party-based
participation into the interest group system. Friends and family members share
information, encourage each other, and highlight issues of common concern (Huckfeldt
and Sprague 1995; Parker, Parker and McCann 2008). The constellation of interest
10
When the four items are factor analyzed, they load cleanly on a single dimension that accounts for two-
thirds of the total variation.


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