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Issue Voting in Gubernatorial Elections: Abortion and Post-Webster Politics

Elizabeth Adell Cook, Ted G. Jelen and Clyde Wilcox
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 56, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 187-199
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2132352
Page Count: 13
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Issue Voting in Gubernatorial Elections: Abortion and Post-Webster Politics
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Abstract

Nearly all studies of gubernatorial voting focus on the role of state economic conditions and incumbency on vote choice. Yet gubernatorial campaigns frequently focus on social issues such as abortion, the death penalty, and gun control. Using data from 1989 and 1990 exit polls in 10 states, we find that abortion was a significant predictor of vote choice in all but one. Our logistic regression analysis suggests that abortion position had a greater impact on vote choice than state economic conditions in eight of the 10 states in our analysis, and that abortion was a stronger predictor than even partisanship in Pennsylvania. This suggests the need to consider noneconomic issues in gubernatorial voting studies.

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