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DCPS or Sidwell Friends? How Politician Schooling Choices Affect Voter Evaluations

Finger, LK; Gift, TC; Miner, A; (2021) DCPS or Sidwell Friends? How Politician Schooling Choices Affect Voter Evaluations. American Politics Research 10.1177/1532673X211042002. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Voters often rely on informational shortcuts, such as the background traits of politicians, to decide which candidates to support at the ballot box. One such background trait is family composition, particularly parental status. Research, however, has mostly overlooked whether the value-laden choices that politicians make regarding their families—like what neighborhoods they live in, where they worship, and what schools they send their children to—affect how constituents view them. We conduct a survey experiment in the U.S. that presents respondents with hypothetical biographies of politicians that randomly vary one of the most important decisions that politicians make regarding their families: whether to send them to public or private school. We find that: (1) voters are more inclined to vote for politicians with children in public school; and (2) this preference may be due to voters perceiving these politicians as both warmer and more committed to public services.

Type: Article
Title: DCPS or Sidwell Friends? How Politician Schooling Choices Affect Voter Evaluations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1532673X211042002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1532673X211042002
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: education, voting, candidate evaluation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137079
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