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J Homosex. 2015;62(6):701-34. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2014.998954. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

Another issue comes out: gay rights policy voting in recent U.S. presidential elections.

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a Department of Political Science , University of Louisville , Louisville , Kentucky , USA.


Drawing from the theory of policy voting, this study examines the impact of opinions about gay rights on voting for presidential candidates. Qualitative analysis of the major party platforms and candidate campaign rhetoric from the six presidential elections held between 1988 and 2008 indicates that Democratic and Republican presidential candidates began openly expressing opposing positions on gay rights issues in 1992. Quantitative analysis of public opinion shows that, starting in 1992 and continuing through 2008, gay rights issues became more salient to the public, and opinions about gay rights began to exert a significant effect on vote choice. The study concludes with a discussion of the partisan forces that shaped the electoral significance of gay rights issues during the period from 1988 to 2008 and speculation about the role of gay rights issues in shaping future partisan electoral strategy.


candidate strategy; election campaigns; gay rights issues; policy voting; presidential elections; public opinion; same-sex marriage; voting behavior

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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