Issues and Political Preference: Presidential Election 2004
Do voters make voting decisions based on a comprehensive perspective? Or do voters vote based on a limited number of issues? This study examined the relationship between the voters' choices and the opinions and positions of voters on political issues, especially among swing voters. Despite the general belief that economic issues have an influence on voting choices, the analysis of voter decision making in 2004 indicates that attitudes toward the war on terror and abortion had more influence on candidate choices than the economy did. As a campaign strategy, it is important for a candidate to appeal to his or her own party. Also, it is crucial to analyze the issues which attract swing voters. However, the more important task of this paper goes beyond campaign strategies. Being aware of the limited relationship between voters' opinions on many issues and voting behavior based on only a few issues, the elected officials may have to make a far greater effort to explain to the people the problems the nation is facing. This paper suggests that, even after winning the election, the administration has to develop more effective public discussions in order to explain its ideas and generate sufficient discussions and find common ground with the voters. In this way, we can move forward to achieve a more mature and active democracy.
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