Ties to war-dead are a predictor of likely presidential disapproval

Aug 01, 2008

Those who know someone who died in the Iraq War or 9/11 terrorist attacks are less likely to approve of President Bush's performance in office than people who have no such connections, according to new research from the University of California, Davis. The pattern holds true for Republicans as well as Democrats, conservatives as well as liberals, and across all races, ages, education levels and incomes.

The research appears in the August issue of the American Sociological Review, the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association.

"The notion of blaming one's leader for the death of a family or community member from a terrorist attack or war might seem odd at first," said UC Davis political science professor Scott Sigmund Gartner, the study's author. "But a personal tie to a victim converts abstract, distant costs of international violence into a vivid, personal and profoundly emotional experience, one that has clear, strong and consistent political implications."

Gartner arrived at his conclusions by analyzing results of two large public opinion polls. One was a 2006 Gallup survey that asked a national sample of Americans about their ties to soldiers serving or killed in Iraq. The other was a 2001 Field Poll that asked Californians whether they had lost a friend, family member or business associate in the 9/11 attacks. Both polls also asked about party affiliation, political outlook and support for the president.

Source: American Sociological Association

Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)

Related Stories

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

19 hours ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

22 hours ago

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

22 hours ago

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

May 22, 2015

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

Publisher pushback puts open access in peril

May 21, 2015

Delegates at the The Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA) conference on the Gold Coast last week heard from futurist Bryan Alexander about four possible scenarios for the future of knowledge. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.