Despite the massive attention heaped on the rally‐round‐the‐flag phenomenon by public opinion scholars, relatively little attention has been paid to its constituent elements. Yet, recent research has found that different groups of Americans respond differently to presidents’ activities according to their interests and attentiveness. In this study, I disaggregate public opinion along two dimensions: political party and political sophistication. I argue that in responding to high‐profile presidential activities abroad, different groups of Americans weigh various individual, contextual, and situational factors differently. I investigate all major U.S. uses of force between 1953 and 1998 and find that the propensity of different groups to rally does indeed vary according to individual and environmental circumstances. To explain these differences, I employ two models of public opinion. The first emphasizes the importance of threshold effects in explaining opinion change. That is, individuals who are closest to the point of ambivalence between approval and disapproval are most likely to change their opinion in response to external circumstances. The second emphasizes both the propensities of different types of individuals to be exposed to a given piece of information, and their susceptibility to having their opinion influenced by any additional information. My results offer a more nuanced picture of the nature and extent of the rally phenomenon than has been available in previous studies. My findings also hold important implications for other related scholarly debates, such as whether, and under what circumstances, the use of force can successfully divert public attention from a president’s domestic political difficulties.
International Studies Quarterly – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 1, 2002
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera