We demonstrate that direct democracy can affect the issues voters consider when evaluating presidential candidates. Priming theory assumes that some voters have latent attitudes or predispositions that can be primed to affect evaluations of political candidates. We demonstrate that: (1) state ballot measures on same sex marriage increased the salience of marriage as an issue that voters used when evaluating presidential candidates in 2004, particularly those voters less interested in the campaign and those likely to be less attentive to the issue prior to the election; and (2) that the printed issue (gay marriage) was a more important factor affecting candidate choice in states where marriage was on the ballot.
The Journal of Politics
Required Publisher's Statement
The Journal of Politics / Volume 70 / Issue 04 / October 2008, pp 1217-1231
Copyright © Southern Political Science Association 2008
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022381608081164 (About DOI), Published online: 10 September 2008
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Southern Political Science AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30219495
Donovan, Todd; Tolbert, Caroline J.; and Smith, Daniel A., "Priming Presidential Votes by Direct Democracy" (2008). Political Science. Paper 9.