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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Diane Kayongo-Male


The following study is an analysis of student voting behaviors at South Dakota State University. This study uses quantitative methodology focusing on themes such as religious socialization, political socialization, political identification and ideology, social class, candidate inspirational and presidential appearance, and respondent cognitive knowledge of issue positions. This research explored these themes through the theoretical lenses of Weber's charismatic theory as well as explanations regarding the decline of class voting offered by Manza, Hout and Brooks (1995). The most overwhelming predictors of candidate choice were political party identification which strongly influenced both mother's and father's party identification, presidential and inspirational perception of candidate, social and fiscal ideologies, and a moderate cognitive awareness of candidates' political issue positions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

College students -- Political activity -- South Dakota -- Brookings
College students -- South Dakota -- Brookings -- Attitudes
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 2008
Presidential candidates -- United States -- Public opinion




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