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The Role of the Terrorism Issue in the 2004 Election

Philip Klinkner, posting in the blog Polysigh, provides some very interesting National Election Study (NES) data on the terrorism issue and its influence on the 2004 election. Here are some of his key findings, but check out his full post for much more:

The NES includes a question, “What do you think has been the most important issue facing the United States over the last four years?” In 2004, terrorism and the war in Iraq clearly dominated voters minds. Approximately 42 percent of voters cited terrorism as the most important issue.....

For one issue to so dominate an election is rare. In fact, the last time that an issue was cited by this many respondents was in 1968 when 43 percent cited the Vietnam War.....

Moreover, President Bush dominated on the issue of terrorism. Among those who cited terrorism as the most important issue, 70 percent voted for Bush. That’s the highest percentage of supporting a candidate on the most important issue in any election since 1960 (when NES first began to ask the question).