A Social Network Analysis of Internal Party Cleavages in Presidential Nominations, 1972-2008
Presidential nomination politics has often revealed schisms within the party coalitions. But are these divisions long-standing or temporary? Do they reflect a chaotic party or a coordinating one? I use a dataset of more than 8000 presidential nomination endorsements from 1972 to 2008 to identify the network of support in the nominating party, as well as the key players in that dynamic. I then apply social networks analysis techniques, including exponential random graph models, to explain those networks. Analysis gives insight into who is important, what groups are stable, and what characteristics lead them to act together.