I have heard that the coattails effect is where a candidate gets elected because the president is popular in the area they want to represent. I feel like it is getting stronger over time. Ticket splitting appears to be rarer in Democratic voters:

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For example, in 2012 and 2016, over 90 percent of districts voted for the same party for the president as the House. And, in the 2016 elections, the elected senator's party could always be predicted accurately by looking at the party the state voted for for President. House:

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Has the coattails effect become a stronger force?

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    Aren't coattails more the appeal or popularity higher up on a party ticket cascading down to lower level contests? This seems more a hardening of partisan lines/tribalism, and not really related to who it is at the top of the ballot. – PoloHoleSet May 28 '20 at 21:00
  • Yes. It has to do with one thing: TURNOUT. – Number File May 29 '20 at 0:56
  • Okay, if coattails impacts turnout, then why is that not mentioned anywhere in a question that exclusively focuses on ticket-splitting? – PoloHoleSet May 29 '20 at 6:39

On the face of it the answer is yes and you even provide the answer yourself.

But this probably has little to do with coat-tail effects which implies that voting for one candidate causes people to vote for another. It probably has more to do with partisanship meaning that voting for Trump and voting for a republican congressional candidate in 2016 both have the same underlying cause: identifying with the Republican party (or disliking the Democratic party).

Partisanship and especially negative-partisanship (disliking the other party) has been increasing in the last several decades. There is a lot of information about that but I think this article provides a good overview.

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    the over-all process is called political polarizatoin. Partisanship is a loaded term because, eg. some GOP fight for free trade, others fight for tariffs. – dandavis May 28 '20 at 21:55
  • @dandavis I don't get how using the term partisanship implies that everyone in the same party agrees on everything – Magnus Jørgensen May 28 '20 at 23:14
  • @dandavis - Yeah, but if someone who, say, fought for free trade, and was the main author of free trade legislation, then voted against his own legislation because the president of the other party said he's sign the bill, then it really doesn't matter if they fight for different things, if those priorities take a back seat to partisan spite. – PoloHoleSet May 29 '20 at 6:42

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