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I read this sentence on the Washington Post website,

Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot.

I'm confused by "would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot".

What does "up and down the ballot" mean? UP or Down?

How to analyse the grammar of this expression?

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    There are some nice explanations here: "It is the practice in the US, unlike many other countries, to hold multiple elections on the same day [...] You thus have lengthy lists of candidates to vote for [...] "up and down" because candidates of the same party will normally all be listed in the same vertical column, with the various offices listed at the left-hand side. Thus, if you wished to vote only for those of the X party, you would go straight down that column and mark your ballot for the names listed there." – CowperKettle Nov 13 '15 at 7:19
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Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot.

The meaning is

Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket throughout the spectrum of elected offices.

Since in the US several elections are held simultaneously, the voter has to mark candidates in several positions in the ballot that he receives in the voting station. An excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on US elections slated for 2012:

The presidential election will take place alongside elections to the Senate and the House of Representatives. Several states will also hold gubernatorial and state legislative elections.

The offices range from high positions, such as that of the President, down to lower positions, such as the position of a US senator, and possibly even lower.

So an unpopular step by a party might disaffect the voters to such an extent that they will avoid choosing that party's candidates in all the positions on the ballot ("up and down the ballot").


From the (a?) grammar standpoint, "up and down the ballot" is an adverbial phrase.

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