Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-lxvtp Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-22T16:22:33.636Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

A predominance of self-identified Democrats is no evidence of a leftward bias

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 September 2015

Benjamin E. Hilbig
Cognitive Psychology Lab, University of Koblenz-Landau, D-76829 Landau, Germany.
Morten Moshagen
Research Methods, Institute of Psychology, University of Kassel, D-34127 Kassel, Germany.


The reasoning of Duarte et al. hinges on the basic premise that a positive ratio of Democrats versus Republicans implies a political bias. However, when placed in a global and historical context, it is evident that U.S. Democrats currently represent a moderate position on the political left–right spectrum. Thus, Duarte et al. provide no evidence of a leftward bias in the scientific community.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Benoit, K. & Laver, M. (2006) Party policy in modern democracies. Routledge.Google Scholar
Budge, I., Klingemann, H.-D., Volkens, A., Bara, J. & Eric, T. (2001) Mapping policy preferences: Estimates for parties, electors, and governments 1945–1998. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
König, T., Marbach, M. & Osnabrügge, M. (2013) Estimating party positions across countries and time – A dynamic latent variable model for manifesto data. Political Analysis 21:468–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lowe, W., Benoit, K., Mikhaylov, S. & Laver, M. (2011) Scaling policy preferences from coded political texts. Legislative Studies Quarterly 36:123–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar