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.