Religion and Presidential Politics in Florida: A List Experiment


  • *Direct correspondence to Stephen C. Craig, Department of Political Science, PO Box 117325, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 〈〉. A previous version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Political Science Association, August 2001, San Francisco, CA. The data and documentation used in this study are available through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Publications-Related Archive at 〈〉.


Objective. Although national surveys indicate that Americans have become more accepting of the prospect of a Jewish presidential candidate, this could reflect some voters' desire to be seen as having socially correct opinions. The present study uses a survey technique known as the “list experiment” to assess public reaction to the nomination of Jewish candidates for high office.

Methods. Two telephone surveys of registered voters in Florida, each employing the list-experiment methodology, were conducted in October 2000 and May/June 2002.

Results. We find only limited evidence of negative affect directed at either the vice presidential candidacy of Joseph Lieberman in 2000 or a hypothetical (unnamed) Jewish presidential candidate who might choose to run in the future.

Conclusions. Although there still are enough voters with anti-Semitic views to affect the outcome of a close election, their numbers do not appear to be as great as some observers have feared.