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Hearts, Minds, and Tulips: The Contribution of Active Intelligence in Understanding Dutch Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  Capelos: Emotionality, Vote, and Party Identification - 18 - elections, and of those about 80.5% report voting for one of the four main parties in the last election. Because the 2006 DNES contains emotionality measures for the four main candidates, we can only identify anxious and complacent voters for CDA, PvdA, VVD and SP. This leaves 1863 respondents who are included in the analyses that follow 4 . Remember that Marcus et al. (2000) operationalize anxiety as the sum of negative feelings (anger and/or fear) towards the candidate of the party that citizens vote for. In the ANES data, about 32% of respondents report some level of anxiety about their own candidate. When we assess party-based anxiety, we see that about 25.7% (373 voters) feel above average levels of anxiety towards the party they voted for in the most recent election 5 . To allow for direct comparisons between the DNES and ANES data, I calculated also leader-based anxiety. Here, anxious are the respondents who felt worried and /or irritated towards their own party candidate. Then, as expected, we note lower anxiety scores. Only about 15.4% (287 voters) feel above average levels of anxiety towards their own party leader. These numbers show that Dutch voters can experience comparable levels of anxiety with their American counterparts, but their anxiety originates from an alternative source: it is party-based. To delve deeper into potential patterns of voters’ emotionality in Dutch politics, I compared anxiety scores of the 2006 DNES with data from the 2002 DNES 6 . To establish comparability between the 2006 and 2002 DNES, I used the overall anxiety measure, identifying as anxious the voters who gave below average overall evaluations for the party they voted for. This is because, as explained earlier, the 2002 DNES does not contain specific measures of affective reactions to political leaders or parties. Two patterns are noteworthy in Table 2. First, when comparing the 2006 and the 2002 DNES low sympathy scores, we note similar levels of general anxiety for parties and their leaders. Using the sympathy scores, about 2.5% report below average feelings towards their party in 2006, and about 2.0% in 2002. Turning to sympathy towards leaders, about 4.3% report below average feelings for the leader of the party they vote for 4 About 458 voters of other parties are excluded. 5 Here we only take into account voters of the CDA, PvdA and VVD, but not SP. Unfortunately, the 2006 DNES does not include emotion items for SP, so SP voters are omitted from the next analysis. 6 In 2002, PvdA and VVD were incumbent parties together with D66, but in 2003 CDA and VVD were incumbents together with LPF.

Authors: Capelos, Tereza.
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Capelos: Emotionality, Vote, and Party Identification
- 18 -
elections, and of those about 80.5% report voting for one of the four main parties in the
last election. Because the 2006 DNES contains emotionality measures for the four main
candidates, we can only identify anxious and complacent voters for CDA, PvdA, VVD
and SP. This leaves 1863 respondents who are included in the analyses that follow
4
.
Remember that Marcus et al. (2000) operationalize anxiety as the sum of negative
feelings (anger and/or fear) towards the candidate of the party that citizens vote for. In the
ANES data, about 32% of respondents report some level of anxiety about their own
candidate. When we assess party-based anxiety, we see that about 25.7% (373 voters)
feel above average levels of anxiety towards the party they voted for in the most recent
election
5
. To allow for direct comparisons between the DNES and ANES data, I
calculated also leader-based anxiety. Here, anxious are the respondents who felt worried
and /or irritated towards their own party candidate. Then, as expected, we note lower
anxiety scores. Only about 15.4% (287 voters) feel above average levels of anxiety
towards their own party leader. These numbers show that Dutch voters can experience
comparable levels of anxiety with their American counterparts, but their anxiety
originates from an alternative source: it is party-based.
To delve deeper into potential patterns of voters’ emotionality in Dutch politics, I
compared anxiety scores of the 2006 DNES with data from the 2002 DNES
6
. To establish
comparability between the 2006 and 2002 DNES, I used the overall anxiety measure,
identifying as anxious the voters who gave below average overall evaluations for the
party they voted for. This is because, as explained earlier, the 2002 DNES does not
contain specific measures of affective reactions to political leaders or parties.
Two patterns are noteworthy in Table 2. First, when comparing the 2006 and the
2002 DNES low sympathy scores, we note similar levels of general anxiety for parties
and their leaders. Using the sympathy scores, about 2.5% report below average feelings
towards their party in 2006, and about 2.0% in 2002. Turning to sympathy towards
leaders, about 4.3% report below average feelings for the leader of the party they vote for
4
About 458 voters of other parties are excluded.
5
Here we only take into account voters of the CDA, PvdA and VVD, but not SP. Unfortunately, the 2006
DNES does not include emotion items for SP, so SP voters are omitted from the next analysis.
6
In 2002, PvdA and VVD were incumbent parties together with D66, but in 2003 CDA and VVD were
incumbents together with LPF.


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