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Religion and Presidential Politics in Florida: A List Experiment. Stephen C. Craig James G. Kane Kenneth D. Wald University of Florida Department of Political Science P.O. Box 117325 Gainesville, FL 32611-7325
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Stephen C. Craig
James G. Kane
Kenneth D. Wald
University of Florida
Department of Political Science
P.O. Box 117325
Gainesville, FL 32611-7325
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2001 Annual Meetings of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, CA. A revised version will appear in Social Science Quarterly (forthcoming 2003).
August 8, 2000:Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut)First Jewish Nominee for National Office by a Major PartyOther Comparable Firsts:Al Smith – 1928John Kennedy – 1960Geraldine Ferraro - 1984
Danger: Potential for Anti-Jewish Backlash And Yet…. there is strong evidence that Lieberman enhanced the Democratic ticket in 2000
Likely Primary and General Election Voters
Moderate New Democrat
Moral Prophylactic for Party
Plaudits for Gore as Bold and Exciting
Electoral Key in Florida
Gallup Poll:“If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be [religion/race/gender], would you vote for that person?”
Prior research suggests that abstract sentiments in favor of intergroup harmony often mask antipathy or reluctance to grant benefits to specific minorities.
Reasons for Doubting Sincerity of Answers to Gallup-Type Questions: Social Desirability- often prompts survey respondents to disguise negative feelings toward members of other races lest they be perceived negatively by interviewers
Prior Research:a. Overreporting by whites of willingness to support black candidates of their party (Citrin, Green & Sears 1990; Finkel, Guterbock & Borg 1991; Howell & Sims 1994).
b. Moskowitz and Stroh (1994) found whites who resented blacks were more likely to attribute to black candidates negative personality traits and incompatible positions on policy issues.
c. Sigelman, Sigelman, Walkosz & Nitz (1995) found that the negative stereotypes often applied by majority-group voters to hypothetical minority-group candidates tended to reduce support for those candidates. Granberg (1985) found similar stereotyping based on religion.
d. Several studies using the list experiment methodology (Kuklinski, Cobb & Gilens 1997; Kuklinski, Sniderman et al. 1997; Sniderman & Carmines 1997) have documented the persistence of prejudicial feelings - including in Florida (Kane 1997-98) against blacks despite the declines in overt racism registered by traditional indicators.
Research Puzzle: Is the expressed willingness of Americans to consider Jewish candidates based on their individual merits a genuine belief likely to be backed by action – or an artifact of social desirability?Research Question: Does a similar dynamic operate when the stimulus is a Jewish candidate for national office?
Question: “Now I’m going to read you four (five) things that sometimes make people angry or upset. After I read all four statements, just tell me how many of them upset you. I don’t want to know which ones, just how many.”
“One: the way gasoline prices keep going up.”
“Two: professional athletes getting million-plus salaries.”
“Three: requiring seat belts be used when driving.”
“Four: large corporations polluting the environment.”
Study 1: Likely Voters (Florida), October 2000, N=606
“Five: a Jewish candidate running for vice president.”
Study 2: Registered Voters (Florida), May/June 2002, N=601
“Five: a Jewish candidate running for president.”
Example: 2.71 mean for test group minus 2.44 percent for baseline=0.27 x 100 =27 percent angry or upset
Socially Marginal (Less Educated, Poorer, Older, Less Urban)
a. Our intent is not measure general anti-Semitism, but rather the degree to which anti-Jewish views may have been activated by the Lieberman nomination, or by the prospect of Lieberman (or any other Jewish candidate) running for president in the future.
c. Small survey N’s mean that few group differences are statistically significant.
d. Different sampling frames for the two surveys (likely voters in 2000, registered voters in 2002)