Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Kenneth N. Bickers

Abstract

The established literature on voter behavior suggests that voting typologies can be generally defined as follows: (1) voters participating in all elections, (2) voters participating in state and federal elections only, (3) voters participating only in federal elections, and (4) voters participating only in presidential elections. My thesis investigates whether there are some voters who fall outside of these established voting typologies and focus their civic efforts towards nonpartisan or local issues elections. Utilizing data from the Ohio Secretary of State, I used Q methodology factor analysis to distinguish voter types. While I was unable to establish a local-specialist voter type, I was able to find groups of biennial federal specialists and habitual voters. Using hypotheses for the characteristics local specialists might have in common, I performed multivariate regression analysis to explain the difference between these federal specialists and the habitual voters who participated in local elections. I found that the habitual voters tend to be less partisan and from more rural counties, and turnout more often when elections have tax issues on the ballot and less often when elections have bond issues on the ballot. I found no indications that these habitual voters tend to be older or have specializations in local or miscellaneous issues (as defined by the Ohio Secretary of State).

Share

COinS