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Campaign Participants and Interest Group Activists: Not So Strange Bedfellows
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Possibly the most demanding test of the positive effects of campaign activity on later activity has been the 1992 Ross Perot movement, in which we find that activity for an anti-party, anti-system third party presidential candidate like Perot actually increased subsequent major party activity. Those most active for Perot in 1992 significantly increased their activity for the Republicans only two years later, without showing a decrease in their activity for the Democrats. And the more active someone was for Perot in 1992, the greater his or her increase in Republican activity in 1994 and thereafter. Impressively, this “Perot effect” was still present almost a decade later as the most active Perot supporters from 1992 continued to show a “Perot bonus” for the Republican Party in terms of their level of Republican campaign activity (Rapoport and Stone, 2005). In this paper, we push the “carryover” and “spillover” literature still further by examining the connections over time between party-centered political engagement and involvement in more narrow-gauge interest groups. Does participation in one domain feed into the other, and if so, what causal mechanisms account for these relationships? Panel surveys administered to randomly selected party activists allow us to probe this question in fine detail. In the following section, we briefly discuss the theoretical linkages between involvement in political parties and interest groups, highlighting potential mechanisms of “carryover” and “spillover” between the two domains, in particular interpersonal networks. We then present empirical findings to illustrate these dynamics. The final section concludes with a broader consideration of these findings. Theoretical Linkages and Mechanisms Carryover and spillover effects among political activists may emerge from a variety of sources. In the case of those who worked to get H. Ross Perot elected

Authors: Rapoport, Ronald. and McCann, James.
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2
Possibly the most demanding test of the positive effects of campaign activity on
later activity has been the 1992 Ross Perot movement, in which we find that activity for
an anti-party, anti-system third party presidential candidate like Perot actually increased
subsequent major party activity. Those most active for Perot in 1992 significantly
increased their activity for the Republicans only two years later, without showing a
decrease in their activity for the Democrats. And the more active someone was for Perot
in 1992, the greater his or her increase in Republican activity in 1994 and thereafter.
Impressively, this “Perot effect” was still present almost a decade later as the most active
Perot supporters from 1992 continued to show a “Perot bonus” for the Republican Party
in terms of their level of Republican campaign activity (Rapoport and Stone, 2005).
In this paper, we push the “carryover” and “spillover” literature still further by
examining the connections over time between party-centered political engagement and
involvement in more narrow-gauge interest groups. Does participation in one domain
feed into the other, and if so, what causal mechanisms account for these relationships?
Panel surveys administered to randomly selected party activists allow us to probe this
question in fine detail. In the following section, we briefly discuss the theoretical
linkages between involvement in political parties and interest groups, highlighting
potential mechanisms of “carryover” and “spillover” between the two domains, in
particular interpersonal networks. We then present empirical findings to illustrate these
dynamics. The final section concludes with a broader consideration of these findings.
Theoretical Linkages and Mechanisms
Carryover and spillover effects among political activists may emerge from a
variety of sources. In the case of those who worked to get H. Ross Perot elected


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