Mutz’ Research: Victory is for the Dogs

Research by Diana Mutz, Ph.D., the Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Communication and Political Science, demonstrating the value of canine ownership in presidential vote preference, has been published in PS: Political Science & Politics (October 2010, Vol. 43, No. 4). The work was first reported back in April in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Abstract: Using the most extensive dataset available on the 2008 election, I examine the impact of dog ownership on presidential vote preference. Canines were elevated to the status of a campaign issue when, during the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama publicly promised his daughters a dog after the election was over, a campaign promise that has since been fulfilled. However, this announcement appears to have unintentionally highlighted the absence of a key point of potential identification between this candidate and voters, and thus to have significantly undermined the likelihood that dog-owning voters would support Obama. I elaborate upon the implications of this finding for future presidential candidates.