- Factors that affect party identification - Perception of the candidates - Issue preferences
What influences people in choosing the party they identify with obviously begins with the family. Other factors include peers, significant events in a generation, the various forms of media, and how the candidates are perceived.
Most people stick with their party from election to election, but the candidates and the issues change. A person's vote can be changed by those differences.
It has always been a concern among voters who they are voting for. A candidate who shares their views is a major plus, but at the same time, the candidate has to come across as having characteristics such as honesty and integrity.
There are a variety of issues that can affect voting behavior. Voters tend to stick with the incumbent if the economy is in good shape, and vote for the challenger if the economy is struggling.
Common characteristics like religion, income, and socioeconomic status are often associated with common political concerns – for example, many people that are evangelical Christians would share a concern for a candidate’s stance on abortion.
Socioeconomic Status is the value assigned to a person due to their occupation or income. A professional with a substantial income, for example, has high socioeconomic status.
Race and sex are also important demographic characteristics that play a role in voting behavior, especially when political issues involve rights concerning those demographic differences.