literaturereview - Kennedy 1 Kate Kennedy Professor...

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Kennedy 1 Kate Kennedy Professor Chenoweth Research Methods 20 February 2008 Literature Review An important question to ask every registered voter during a primary season is that of who they plan to vote for. However, many pollsters do not go into specifics with their research subjects because they feel as though there is no more information needed. The question that truly needs to be asked is why a voter chooses and supports a specific candidate for an election. This question would provide numerous responses, many of which could help political scientists understand what demographics of voters vote for which candidates, what issues are important to those who vote for specific candidates, and the possibilities are endless. There are a number of other political science researchers who have collected data that is very similar to this research topic, and it is important to review before doing any further inquiries are made into this subject matter. In their study entitled “Presidential Prenomination Preferences and Candidate Evaluations,” published in The American Political Science Review , Patrick J. Kenney and Tom W. Rice use NES panel data to study why and how voters select a specific candidate to back in a Presidential Election. They used a dynamic simultaneous model to display their findings. The NES data that they ran was primarily related to the research subject’s political party identification, their feelings about policies, candidate personalities, candidate evaluations, issue positions, and the candidate they were backing in the prenomination phase. All of the data they ran was also from the 1980 NES study. Although there was not a specific question asking about a
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Kennedy 2 candidate’s personal qualities, the researchers looked at NES variables that asked questions with key words such as moral, honest, dishonest, knowledgeable, power hungry, provides strong leadership, weak, inspiring, etc. They strongly believed that these variables gave key insight into what a person believed about their candidate’s personal qualities. All of the variables were run for Kennedy, Bush, Reagan, and Carter, not discriminating against any single political party or candidate. Through their hard research, Kenney and Rice found many links between variables in the NES Study that related to the 1980 election candidate choices. First of all, they found that “paths flowing from the prenomination preference variables show preferences having a strong direct effect on comparative candidate evaluations as well as an important indirect influence” (Kenney and Rice 1314). They also found that a voter’s prenomination preference had an “indirect influence on . . . candidate evaluations through policy evaluations” (Kenney and Rice 1314). In other words, most of the variables they ran turned up very similar to their original hypotheses, most of which claimed that there was some sort of relation between how a voter feels about a candidate in the prenomination phase and how they react to that candidate’s policy
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course POSC 295 taught by Professor Chenoweth during the Spring '08 term at James Madison University.

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literaturereview - Kennedy 1 Kate Kennedy Professor...

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