Date of Defense



Political Science


The study of nonpartisan elections is somewhat limited but diverse. Analyses have concentrated on how partisan these elections are, an unproven Republican advantage, and how easily nonpartisan contests can be infiltrated by partisan information. This paper uses the method of ecological inference and a unique dataset to illuminate the behavior of different kinds of partisans in the 2008 Michigan Supreme Court election. The noteworthy finding is that straight ticket voters vote for their parties' Supreme Court nominees more faithfully than do presidential voters; this supports the hypothesis that partisan information indeed permeates nonpartisan elections, and those voters more attuned to this information are more apt to receive and use it.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only