Using the most extensive dataset available on the 2008 election, Mutz examines 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. Mutz elaborates upon the implications of this finding for future presidential candidates.
Published in Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 707-712