, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 575-601
Date: 09 Jun 2009

Terrorist Threat, Leadership, and the Vote: Evidence from Three Experiments

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From 9/11 in the U.S. to train, subway, and airport bombings elsewhere, individuals frequently must make political decisions in the shadow of terrorist attacks. To date, few studies have examined how times of terror threat influence voters’ decision-making processes. Using data generated from three experiments we show that, in times of terrorist threat (compared to good times), individuals weight leadership more heavily in the voting booth. Our results also shed light on how much weight is given to other determinants of the vote (issues and partisanship) across these two conditions.