Mutz Research Says Voting Goes With the Dogs

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Professor Diana C. Mutz was interviewed for a feature that appears in the April 8 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer about Presidential pets and how voters show a preference for Presidential candidates who are dog owners. "Everything else being equal," she said, "dog ownership does make a difference."

The research Prof. Mutz used comes from the National Annenberg Election Survey and will appear in an upcoming article titled "The Dog That Didn't Bark: The Role of Canines in the 2008 Campaign" in the publication PS: Political Science & Politics.

Using the most extensive data set 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 significantly undermined the likelihood that dog-owing voters would support Obama. I elaborate upon the implications of this finding for future presidential candidates.