The U.S. election of 2004 affords an opportunity to investigate how wartime affects presidential voting. The conventional wisdom is that wartime presidents always get reelected, but previous studies have not examined how citizens' attitudes on the war affect their voting. The papers in this special issue investigate this process, looking at how attitudes on the Iraq War, the larger War on Terrorism, and the so-called cultural war affected attitudes toward the presidential candidates and voting. The studies use a wide variety of datasets and survey questions, showing that the different aspects of the war resonate with different voters and that some of the effects of wartime are indirect through increasing the salience of leadership in the election. Wartime presidents do not get reelected automatically; they have had success in reelection because of how they use the war to build an image that can get them reelected.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2007
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