Evangelical and social conservative support for George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections: Evidence from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Ohio

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Andrew J. Dowdle
Gary Wekkin


Little scholarly research has been done to explain the effects of State Question 711 on the 2004 presidential election in Oklahoma. Recent research however has called address this issue in Ohio and Arkansas. However a debate still exists about the precise role of social conservatives in each state. To help address these questions, this paper (1) tries to determine whether this lack of effect is just limited to evangelical voters in one state or region by examining the states of Oklahoma, Ohio, and Arkansas, all of which had a similar issue on the ballot, and (2) attempts to differentiate between white evangelical voters and social conservatives. We find that Bush ran strongly in socially conservative areas in 2000, well before gay marriage became a major issue in any of these states. We also conclude that while there is certainly overlap between social conservatives and evangelicals in Oklahoma and the other two states, they acted as separate electoral groups in 2000 and 2004.

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