2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Voting and the “Hot Button” Issues: Young Adults in 2006
Elizabeth N. Petry* and Timothy J. Wittmann
Dr. Judith M. Misale, Faculty Mentor

During the 2004 to 2006 political cycle U.S. citizens faced serious and divisive issues, both foreign (the war in Iraq) and domestic (immigration, budget deficits). As a result, political pundits speculated that citizens’ level of political participation, including their voting behavior, would increase beyond the typically low levels witnessed in recent history. Because young voters (18-24 years) represent a group historically casual in the political domain, we investigated this groups’ intent to vote, their actual voting behavior, and their attitudes regarding current “hot button” political topics. We also examined variables that impact such issues, such as party affiliation and political distrust. Our findings demonstrated higher voting rates for these young adults than in recent elections and clear opposition to the war in Iraq, but these and other effects were frequently qualified, primarily by political affiliation. We provide additional pre- and post-election findings and suggest possible reasons for the outcomes observed.

Keywords: politics, voting

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 66-1
Location: VH 1412
Time: 2:45 pm

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