The Role of Issues in the 2000 U. S. Presidential Election


  • 1. These responses, which reflect a specific concern about the deficit not shown in Table 2, are included in the category “various economic issues.”


Between 1992 and 2000, the concerns of the public shifted from economic to domestic issues. Despite perceptions of prosperity, Gore could not capitalize on the economic improvements that occurred under the Clinton-Gore administration. Similarly, George Bush was not able to take advantage of the moral issue based on claims of growing distrust of government grising from scandals in the Clinton-Gore administration. With no single burning issue facing the electorate, broader enduring issues carried more sway in the election outcome. Bush gained an advantage on issues such as defense spending, investing social security funds in the stock market, and the role of government in assistance to minorities. Gore was advantaged by issues dealing with spending on government services and women's righs. Gore was slightly advantaged by the issues, but the public was almost evenly dividedon those most relevant to vote choice, helping to explain why the election turned out so close.