What is ticket splitting?


Ticket splitting is the tendency of the voting system in the United States to cast votes concurrently for the candidates based on their appeal to the voter, notwithstanding one’s political allegiance. Such a voting approach has a broad application and signifies the weakness of the party, as well as the fundamental role of personal appeals in the electoral policy of the U.S. and the outcomes of federalism.


Ticket splitting refers to a single election when citizens vote for candidates of opposing political parties. For instance, it allows voting for a Republican for president and Democrats for election to Congress, instead of voting for a straight one-party ticket.

This tendency also helps to analyze the predominance of divided government that implies one party to control the executive and another to administer the legislature. Therefore, the ticket splitters do not give their votes solely for the candidates of one party but divide the votes among different political parties in the same election instead. As such, one may elect for a Democrat for president and a Republican for senator.

Split-ticket voting creates a practice under which individual voters split their votes within multiple parties during an election. Ticket splitting occurs in elections whereby more than one office is up for election. This type of voting is considered as the alternative equivalent of straight-ticket voting.

As such, during the 2016 presidential elections in the United States, the eligible voters could vote for their preferred presidential candidate, along with electing a candidate for the House of Representatives in their electoral district.

Furthermore, 34 Senate positions were disputed in this election. With that said, the 2016 ticket-splitting process enabled voting for Republican Donald Trump as president, while voting for Democratic Party applicants in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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