Political issues and the Dynamics of vote choice in 2008

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The 2008 American presidential contest occurred amidst economic conditions unlike any seen in decades. Media assessments have often attributed Barack Obama's victory to the faltering economy, particularly the financial crisis that erupted just seven weeks before election day. In this article we assess the role of the economy and other political issues on vote choice, and find that the impact of the economic crisis is more nuanced than is often assumed. We find that while the economy did matter for the general election, so too did social issues. More interestingly, the collapse itself seemed to have only a minor impact because so many people had already made up their minds before the collapse. Finally, we show that while Obama benefited from the economy in the general election, it may have actually worked against him in the primary phase of the contest. © 2010 Elections, Public Opinion & Parties.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hillygus, DS; Henderson, M

Published Date

  • May 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 241 - 269

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1745-7297

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1745-7289

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/17457281003697263

Citation Source

  • Scopus