Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2015

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


Voting in the Presidential election always comes down to the wire, which leads political scientists to contemplate the most efficient ways for candidates to target and seize voters. The study explores how ethnic and religious values affect a voter’s party identification. This study will identify theories of opinion formation and connect these theories to the values that religious and ethnic voters rely on when voting for a candidate. This study hypothesizes three things: first, religious groups will tend to vote for candidates that hold the same religious values. Second, Ethnic groups will tend to vote for candidates that share the same ethnic background; and lastly, it hypothesizes that religion is a more reliable indicator of partisanship than ethical values that voter’s hold. In this research paper, the independent factors that are being observed are religious values such as importance of religion, guidance in day-to-day life, as well as church attendance and ethnic diversity. The research will help candidates better target the audience they currently have and maintain good relations as well as seek where lack of constituency is with certain ethnic groups. Among the expected results is that while ethnic groups support candidates that relate to their shared ethnicity, religion will be a leading indicator on how a constituent will vote.


Presented at the Spring 2015 Student Research Day at Chapman University.