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: Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How new social movements take root

Sep 24, 2014

Contemporary movements, such as those initiated after the recent shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., can be born seemingly overnight in the digital age. UA researchers point to several factors.

Researchers study how humor matters in social movements

Aug 18, 2014

For social movements whose members believe they are maligned and misunderstood in the broader culture, marginalization is no laughing matter. But as the New Atheist Movement demonstrates, humor can be an ...

Congressional rift over environment influences public

Jul 31, 2014

American citizens are increasingly divided over the issue of environmental protection and seem to be taking their cue primarily from Congress, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

Recommended for you

Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

13 hours ago

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), evaluated consumers' choice in fresh tomato selection and revealed which characteristics make the red fruit most appealing.

How the lotus got its own administration

17 hours ago

Actually the lotus is a very ordinary plant. Nevertheless, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) a complex bureaucratic structure was built up around this plant. The lotus was part of the Imperial Household, ...

What labels on textiles can tell us about society

17 hours ago

Throughout Chinese history, dynastic states used labels on textiles to spread information on the maker, the commissioner, the owner or the date and site of production. Silks produced in state-owned manufacture ...

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

User comments : 0