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Priming Presidential Votes by Direct Democracy
The Journal of Politics
  • Todd Donovan, Western Washington University
  • Caroline J. Tolbert
  • Daniel A. Smith
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We demonstrate that direct democracy can affect the issues voters consider when evaluating presidential candidates. Priming theory assumes that some voters have latent attitudes or predispositions that can be primed to affect evaluations of political candidates. We demonstrate that: (1) state ballot measures on same sex marriage increased the salience of marriage as an issue that voters used when evaluating presidential candidates in 2004, particularly those voters less interested in the campaign and those likely to be less attentive to the issue prior to the election; and (2) that the printed issue (gay marriage) was a more important factor affecting candidate choice in states where marriage was on the ballot.
Citation Information
Todd Donovan, Caroline J. Tolbert and Daniel A. Smith. "Priming Presidential Votes by Direct Democracy" The Journal of Politics Vol. 70 Iss. 4 (2008) p. 1217 - 1231
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