With abortion regaining attention in national media due to recent court cases and legislation, this study assesses evidence of the potential impact of abortion on voting behavior when the issue becomes especially salient in the campaign information environment. The study utilizes two-wave panel data from the 2010–2012 Cooperative Congressional Study and compares the effect of lagged abortion attitudes on vote choice in the Missouri and Indiana U.S. Senate elections in 2012 to other electoral contests where abortion was less salient. The findings suggest abortion influenced vote choice through the process of learning and priming after abortion unexpectedly became salient due to comments from Republican candidates that revealed extreme conservative positions on the issue. While substantial research suggests that voters often learn and then follow the issue preferences of their preferred party's candidates, these results point to conditions where the information environment can serve a potentially more normatively desirable role of informing and activating the electorate's pre-existing preferences.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Oct 2022|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations
- Issue attitudes