If you are typical, you probably started thinking of yourself as a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent in childhood, even before you knew what the words meant. 1 The psychological attachment that most Americans develop toward a political party is called a party identification, or party ID. 2 By the time they get to be young adults, about one-third call themselves “strong” partisans, and almost as many express some party attachment, though not a strong one. Even most of those who at first claim to be independents admit to feeling “closer to” one party and favor that party in their voting.