Date of Award

4-21-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Sean Richey - Chair

Second Advisor

Richard Engstrom

Third Advisor

Jason Reifler

Abstract

In the 2004 Presidential Election social and wedge issues were among the most publicized mobilization tools utilized by the Bush Campaign. Specifically, same-sex marriage has been suggested as a key wedge issue that may have mobilized voters, although research differs on its impact. My contention is that these previous studies miss the point with regard to wedge issues, which is that they are useful on persuadable voters, and persuadable voters live in swing states. I estimate a logit model using 2004 American National Election Studies survey data. I utilize voters’ decisions to turn out as the dependent variable and control for respondents’ positions on terrorism, the economy, same-sex marriage, political interest, party identification, and socio-economic status. These findings demonstrate, consistent with my hypothesis, voters in swing same-sex marriage ballot measure states were more likely to turn out. These voters may not have been persuadable, but rather the Republican base.

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