Potential Project Description for 2012-13


Title: Presidential Battleground Strategies and Their Effects on Citizens’ Political Attitudes and Behavior
Domain Expert: Henriet Hendriks (Political Science)

This project focuses on presidential elections and in particular, on the fact that presidential candidates tend to campaign only in those states they deem to be battlegrounds, such as Florida or Ohio. They almost completely ignore all other states. Many political commentators and even some scholars have said this is an inherently undemocratic feature of the American political process. This research tries to test this claim by investigating how voters think and feel about politics depending on whether they live in a battleground or safe state. For instance, do voters in battleground states feel better represented? Are they more interested in politics? The statistical work would involve analyzing a 2008 national survey collected by the American National Election Studies (ANES) at the University of Michigan. But as the presidential election happens this fall, we will further analyze trends during that election and utilize the ANES 2012 once it is published in the spring.