intro and conclusion do introduction and a conclusion? And change all the citations to chigago footnotes. I put the footnotes in the works cited page but j

intro and conclusion

do introduction and a conclusion? And change all the citations to chigago footnotes. I put the footnotes in the works cited page but just need them to add it in the paper

Final Paper

Jannelle Marin, Emely Barrios, &
Dhillon Alamshaw

Elections and Political Participation

March 17, 2022

In the 2020 presidential election, candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden both addressed concerns regarding the covid-19 pandemic. Their approaches to minimize the effects of covid-19 on the economy and health of the citizens of the United States differed substantially. Regardless of the policy differences each candidate advocated for, the public’s attitude towards the government’s administrative decisions to control covid-19 under the Trump administration was hypothesized to influence voter choice in the 2020 election. Similarly, voters’ ideology played a significant role in the election. Regardless of political party membership, voters who identified as liberal or moderate on the ideological spectrum were more inclined to vote for Biden. The government response to the pandemic and the Trump Administration’s response may have caused voters to vote ideologically based. It is important to understand just how influential the concerns in regards to covid-19 were for voters as well as the ideologies that each candidate demonstrated.

In the article titled, “Important issues in the 2020 election” the Pew Research Center proves the topic of the coronavirus was a very important issue to voters. In the chart, it demonstrates that in general voters are concerned with the coronavirus outbreak as “the coronavirus was marked in fourth place amongst 12 different policy issues” (Pew Research Center). The coronavirus was placed after the following issues in order of most to least important-the economy, health care and supreme court appointments. It further states in the article that, “62% of voters say the outbreak will be a very important factor in their decision about who to support in the fall” (Pew Research Center). Voter ideology also played a significant role when it came to the 2020 election. In a different study performed by the Pew Research center, about 85% of adults at the end of the political ideology spectrum, being either progressive liberals or extreme conservatives, voted in the 2020 election (Pew Research Center 2022). The information provided by the Pew Research Center demonstrates that the coronavirus and voters’ ideology are relevant and important issues that influence voter choice. In further detail, we hypothesize that liberals and moderates were more likely to vote for Joe Biden as opposed to conservative voters. Also, that there would be a correlation between public attitude and vote choice because of the proximity model of voting being influenced by salient issues that directly impact voter’s lives.

In the article titled, “Still Not Important Enough? COVID-19 Policy Views and Vote Choice” by Eric Guntermann questions whether the influence of salient issues that directly impact voter’s lifes increases voter attention. That in return enables their, “ability to vote on the basis of their policy views[and become aware of] policy stances adopted by candidates and parties”. It is without a doubt that the pandemic is nothing short of a severe crisis where, “many voters…know people who have tested positive and in some cases died from the virus”(Guntermann). The theory holds that, “[voter’s] attention may increase when policy issues become important to them, such as when a crisis disrupts their lives” therefore enabling them to become more involved within politics and vote based on policy views (Guntermann).

From the course, I have learned that in general the public is not well informed about basic information in regards to politics. From the lecture slide titled, “Understanding Vote Choice: Issue Preference” it states that, “voters [are] uninformed, but also often misinformed”(Ding). The lecture slides also indicate that voter’s preferences are unstable. The theory previously mentioned questions how voters who under normal circumstances would remain uninformed would become more informed because of increased attention towards politics. This increase in attention would allow voters, “vote on the basis of their policy views”(Guntermann). Furthermore in the article it states that, “there is evidence that voters seek out information about issues that are important to them “(Guntermann).

Also mentioned in lecture was the, “two types of issue voting proximity model (more cognitively demanding)[and] directional voting model (less cognitively demanding)”(Ding). The proximity model of voting is when voters have issue preferences and knowledge about a candidate’s positions. I believe that the article is questioning whether salient crisis’s impact voter’s ability to vote based on the proximity model of voting. Unlike the directional voting model where voters do not know all of the positions candidates hold but do develop their own position on an issue and, “vote for [the] candidate that mostly signals she is on their side”(Ding). The proximity model best represents the idea that, “voters may be able to vote on the basis of policy attitudes that are salient[which they find] personally important to them”(Guntermann). The article to which i refer to, has answered the hypothesis that i stated; for it too was looking for the relationship between vote choice and covid-19. If salient issues enabled voters to, “better be able to connect their policy preferences to their vote choice” (Guntermann).To double check or solidify the reading’s findings i will cross reference data in front of the American National Election Studies Data Center.

Voter ideology also has a strong effect on voter behavior. To understand voter ideology, it is important to see what ideology functions for. As mentioned in lecture, voter ideology “helps voters make sense of the world, organize political ideas into a coherent pattern, and allows easier communication of political ideas” (Ding 2022). This is prevalent in American politics and elections because it guides voters towards which candidates they choose to vote for. In terms of the 2020 election, voters were more inclined to participate in politics if they were more aligned to extreme political ideologies. For instance, the Pew Research center states that “U.S. adults who fall on either end of the ideological spectrum are more active than other Americans across several measures of political engagement, from voting to posting about politics on social media to donating to campaigns” (Pew Research Center 2022). This means that voters who are more established with their political beliefs are disposed to political participation. In the 2020 election, this was evident when voters on either side of the ideological spectrum voted for either Biden or Trump. Although the voters in the middle of the ideology spectrum were not as involved, they still participated in the recent presidential election.

The political ideology spectrum, usually a seven category scale, places voters on the scale depending on how they identify their ideological beliefs. The scale ranges from extremely liberal to extremely conservative, with middle ground for those who don’t identify themselves too much with the end of the spectrum. These voters found in the middle are seen to lack the political participation compared to extremely liberal or conservative voters. For example, Pew Research center states that in the 2020 election, “groups at the ends of the spectrum register much higher levels of general interest in politics as well” (Pew Research 2022). In another article, they also analyze that in 2020, these groups “had the lowest rates of voting in the 2020 presidential election and are less likely than other groups to follow government and public affairs most of the time” (Pew Research 2022). This research demonstrates how ideology affects voter participation, not only in elections but in politics overall. Voters that do not conform to a specific ideology had the lowest voting rates. They also were not as informed about politics as the others who define themselves ideologically. Therefore, it is important to understand how political ideologies affected the 2020 Presidential Election and the outcome.

The impact of voter ideology in elections is argued to be one of the biggest components of election results. As studied by Michael Sances in “Ideology and Vote Choice in U.S. Mayoral Elections”, the author concludes that “ideology has the largest impact on vote choice compared to any other factor…respondents prefer candidates who share their policy position more than they prefer candidates with the opposite position; they also prefer candidates who are 1/2 points away from their own position by about 18 percentage points” (Sances 2018). The study conducted by Sances demonstrates that voters tend to vote more ideologically based in elections. Essentially, ideologies create a safety barrier between the voters and their preferred candidates. Even if the candidates do not share all of the same beliefs, they share some beliefs and that is what matters most to voters. In the 2020 presidential election, ideologies helped voters understand how both candidates, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, would share their beliefs and essentially lead the nation based on these beliefs.

The data gathered from the American National Election Studies data center would compare and analyze if there was a correlation between public attitude about Covid-19 and which candidate voters selected in the 2020 presidential election. The public’s attitude would help us understand if their position on the government’s handlement of covid-19 under the Trump administration would impact voter choice. To simplify, if there was a connection between voter choice and public opinion about covid-19 policy position we could say that public opinion on the policy issue was influenced by salience. Voters who objectively believe an issue is important will put more effort into learning about the issue and thinking about it. In turn, they will be better able to connect their policy preferences to their vote choice”(Guntermann).

The chart analyzed used the variable #V202073( vote choice) and explanatory variable #V201392x (federal government response to covid-19 to measure public attitude). From the following information the table demonstrates that, “ 2,605.9 out of 3,056 people in total that voted for Joe Biden 87.3 percent stated the federal government was much too slow”(ANES). From the 1,743.8 voters out of 2,483.5 that voted for Donald Trump 88.7 said the federal government was about right in handling Covid-19”(ANES). When we plug in these variables into the regression tab we learn that probability is equal to zero. This means that there is no statistical correlation between the two variables. It is important to note that although there were trends in regards to vote choice and public attitude there was not a statistical correlation. In part because of the wide range of candidates listed on the chart diversifying voter choice. The chart compares. In a broader sense this means that the public’s opinion about the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 has no relationship to voter choice.

Despite covid-19 being a salient policy issue voters did not become more informed allowing them to connect policy preference about Covid-19 to voter choice. Earlier I hypothesized that covid-19 would impact vote choice because it impacted voters directly therefore increasing voter attention and improving information gathering. As we know from earlier, Guntermann discussed how, “voters who subjectively believe an issue is important will put more effort into learning about the issue”. From this cause and effect scenario voters would be able to put forth connections between policy preference to vote choice. The data collected from the ANES proves otherwise. Salient issues do not impact issue voting despite their direct impact on voters.

When compiling data on voter ideology, it is important to see how ideology is classified in accordance to voter beliefs. As William Jacoby states in 2004, “The basic definition of ‘‘ideology’’ involves a vision of the ideal society, along with the means of achieving it…personal ideology should provide useful standards for assessing the leadership potential of public figures, weighing the relative merits of alternative policy positions, and evaluating current social, political, and economic problems” (Jacoby 2009). This means that voters will place themselves on the ideology spectrum where the policies best explain their political interests. This also means that when looking at the ideologies, voters should base their standards on the people and policies that will implement their best interest.

We test our hypothesis using the American National Election Studies. We analyze the correlation between vote choice (V202073) and voter ideology on a seven point scale (V201200) in the 2020 Election. Voter ideology on the scale defines voter’s self-placement on the ideological spectrum with a seven point scale, coded from (1) being extremely liberal and (7) being extremely conservative. Disregarding the seven categories, there is also an eighth category involving voters who haven’t put much thought into their ideology placement; they are coded with the (99). Vote choice was the dependent variable and voter ideology was the independent variable. The American National Election Study helps us understand how many voted in 2020 conforming to the political ideology they placed themselves into. As hypothesized, more liberal voters would vote for Joe Biden because they share similar beliefs as opposed to Donald Trump.

The data shown from the National Election Study demonstrates how voters participated in the 2020 Election. Using the table, we observe how extremely liberal (1), liberal (2), slightly liberal (3), and moderate (4) voted for Biden as opposed to Trump. The data table also shows how slightly conservative (5), conservative (6), and extremely conservative (7) Americans voted for Donald Trump. Besides the seven categories on the scale, the final category were voters who haven’t put much thought into their own ideological beliefs (99). About 37.7% of these voters voted for Trump whereas 58.8% of them voted for Biden. This shows how many voters considered Joe Biden their choice candidate even though they were uninformed on their own ideological perspectives. This also demonstrates how disregarding partisanship, ideology played a significant role in who won the election. Because Joe had a higher percentage of voters that agreed with him ideologically or were not so sure, he still beat his opponent because of how voters are more likely to vote based on their shared beliefs.

Works Cited
(Sances reading)
(Jacoby reading 2009).

Lecture slide titled, Understanding Vote Choice: Issue Preference by Ding

Lecture slide titled, Understanding Vote Choice: Ideology (Slide 19)
(public attitude)

Chicago Style Works Cited

Blazina, Carrie. “Americans at the Ends of the Ideological Spectrum Are the Most Active in National Politics.” Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, January 5, 2022.

· Carrie Blazina, “Americans at the Ends of the Ideological Spectrum Are the Most Active in National Politics,” Pew Research Center (Pew Research Center, January 5, 2022),

“Important Issues in the 2020 Election.” Pew Research Center – U.S. Politics & Policy. Pew Research Center, April 28, 2021.

· “Important Issues in the 2020 Election,” Pew Research Center – U.S. Politics & Policy (Pew Research Center, April 28, 2021),

Jacoby, William G. “Ideology and Vote Choice in the 2004 Election.” Electoral Studies. Pergamon, June 28, 2009.

· William G. Jacoby, “Ideology and Vote Choice in the 2004 Election,” Electoral Studies (Pergamon, June 28, 2009),

“The Political Typology: In Polarized Era, Deep Divisions Persist within Coalitions of Both Democrats and Republicans.” Pew Research Center – U.S. Politics & Policy. Pew Research Center, January 24, 2022.

· “The Political Typology: In Polarized Era, Deep Divisions Persist within Coalitions of Both Democrats and Republicans,” Pew Research Center – U.S. Politics & Policy (Pew Research Center, January 24, 2022),

Sances, Michael W. “Ideology and Vote Choice in U.S. Mayoral Elections: Evidence from Facebook Surveys – Political Behavior.” SpringerLink. Springer US, July 14, 2017.

· Michael W. Sances, “Ideology and Vote Choice in U.S. Mayoral Elections: Evidence from Facebook Surveys – Political Behavior,” SpringerLink (Springer US, July 14, 2017),

“Still Not Important Enough? Covid-19 Policy Views and Vote …” Accessed March 15, 2022.

· “Still Not Important Enough? Covid-19 Policy Views and Vote …,” accessed March 15, 2022,


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