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Religion and Presidential Politics in Florida

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					Religion and Presidential Politics in Florida:
A List Experiment
Stephen C. Craig James G. Kane Kenneth D. Wald
Published in Social Science Quarterly 85 (June, 2004), 281293.

August 8, 2000:

Sen. Joseph Lieberman
(D-Connecticut)

Becomes First Jewish Nominee for National Office by a Major Party Other Comparable Firsts:
Al Smith – 1928 John Kennedy – 1960 Geraldine Ferraro - 1984

Gallup Poll:
“If your party nominated a generally wellqualified person for president who happened to be [religion/race/gender], would you vote for that person?”

Figure 1
Would you vote for a Jewish/Catholic/Black presidential candidate? 100
90
Catholic

percent yes

80 70 60 50 40 30 1937 1958 1959 1961 1963 1965 1967 1969 1978 1983 1999 Black Jewish

Year of Survey
Source: The Gallup Organization

Reason for Skepticism

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

Research Question:
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?

Measurement: The List Experiment
• Adapted from Studies of Racial Attitudes (Kuklinski, Sniderman, Carmines Etc.) • Representative Sample Randomly Divided into Equivalent Half-Samples

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.”

Baseline Group:
“One: the way gasoline prices keep going up.” “Two: professional athletes getting millionplus salaries.” “Three: requiring seat belts be used when driving.” “Four: large corporations polluting the environment.”

Test Group:
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.”

Estimating Percentage of Respondents Who Are Angry Or Upset at the Idea of a Jewish Candidate for President or Vice President:
1. Calculate Mean Number of AngerGenerating Statements for Both Baseline and Test Conditions 2. Subtract the Former from the Latter 3. Multiply by 100
Example: 2.71 mean for test group minus 2.44 percent for baseline=0.27 x 100 =27 percent angry or upset

Pros and Cons of the Method
• Advantage: Social Desirability Element Removed by Disguising Intent • Disadvantage: Can Only Estimate Aggregate Level Of Negative Group Affect, No Analysis of Individual Respondents Possible

Group Differences
Greater Negative Affect Expected Among:

Socially Marginal (Less Educated, Poorer, Older, Less Urban) Evangelical Protestants Men Republicans Conservatives

Study 1: Vice President

Study 2: President

All Non Jews

Baseline Test Percent Baseline Test Percent Condition Condition Angry Condition Condition Angry 2.17 2.20 3 2.17 2.28 11 (282) (280) (284) (282)

Education High School or Less Some College/Degree Postgraduate

2.46 (79) 2.11 (158) 1.97 (36)

2.46 (94) 2.15 (130) 1.89 (47)

0 4 0†

2.15 (85) 2.19 (148) 2.18 (49)

2.37 (103) 2.33 (134) 1.96 (45)

22 14 0†

Family Income Under $30K $30K-70K Over $70K Age Under 60 60 and Older

2.37 (64) 2.44 (70) 2.21 2.19 (114) (112) 1.89 (62) 2.02 (51)

7 0† 13

2.41 (78) 2.22 (118) 1.91 (54)

2.16 (82) 2.31 (114) 2.16 (49)

0† 9 25

2.06 (121) 2.31 (150)

2.18 (119) 2.28 (152)

12 0†

2.11 (218) 2.41 (63)

2.30 (200) 2.24 (74)

19 0†

Study 1: Vice President

Study 2: President

Baseline Test Percent Baseline Test Percent Condition Condition Angry Condition Condition Angry Region North of Florida Rest of State 2.17 (69) 2.18 (233) 2.16 (61) 2.21 (243) 0† 3 2.17 (63) 2.17 (221) 2.10 (67) 2.43 (215) 0† 17

Religion Evangelical Protestant Other Non-Jewish

2.46 (28) 2.18 (235)

2.30 (20) 2.21 (243)

0† 3

2.31 (61) 2.12 (185)

2.17 (70) 2.31 (158)

0† 19

Ethnicity White Nonwhite/Hispanic Partisanship Republican Independent Democrat

2.20 (240) 2.09 (33)

2.23 (241) 2.26 (35)

3 17

2.15 (190) 2.19 (85)

2.37 (202) 2.08 (64)

22 0† 0† 22 21

2.03 (122) 2.33 (85) 2.26 (92)

2.26 (101) 2.25 (83) 2.15 (114)

23 0† 0†

2.13 (121) 2.41 (29) 2.17 (109)

2.08 (105) 2.63 (30) 2.38 (120)

Study 1: Vice President Baseline Condition Ideology Conservative Moderate Liberal Gender Men Women 2.21 (121) 2.18 (107) 2.06 (36) Test Condition 2.20 (105) 2.24 (104) 2.17 (52) Percent Angry 0† 6 11

Study 2: President Baseline Condition 2.13 (125) 2.37 (57) 2.07 (67) Test Condition 2.24 (102) 2.29 (68) 2.38 (71) Percent Angry 11 0† 31

2.09 (140) 2.25 (142)

2.13 (124) 2.26 (156)

4 1

2.21 (143) 2.13 (141)

2.17 (122) 2.37 (160)

0† 24

Lieberman Thermometer Cool (<40 degrees) 1.77 (47) Intermediate 2.26 (126) (40-60 degrees) Warm (>60 degrees) 2.15 (94) Anti-Jewish Sentiment Least anti-Jewish Intermediate Most anti-Jewish

2.17 (35) 2.31 (114) 2.18 (106)

40 5 3

n/a n/a n/a

n/a n/a n/a

n/a n/a n/a

n/a n/a n/a

n/a n/a n/a

n/a n/a n/a

2.08 (138) 2.27 (107) 2.22 (27)

2.32 (129) 2.18 (125) 2.79 (24)

24 0† 57

†Mean score is higher (but not significantly so) for baseline group than for test group. Note: Table entries are the mean number of anger-inducing statements (N for each group in parentheses). Partisanship variable classifies leaning Independents as Independents. For ideology, liberals are those who score 1-3 and conservatives those who score 5-7 on a 7-point scale. None of within-group differences shown here are significant at the .05 level. Source: Statewide surveys of Florida residents, October 2000 (total N = 606 likely voters) and May-June 2002 (N = 601 eligible voters).

Conclusion: Negative affect for Jewish candidates in not widespread. It does exist however, and could be decisive in a close race.


				
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