Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Political Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Jonathan Winburn

Second Advisor

Robert Brown

Third Advisor

Conor Dowling

Relational Format



To test these theories, I conduct a series of empirical tests using survey data from the American National Election Survey (ANES) and an original survey experiment. Chapter two examines how people’s ideological perceptions are moderated by living in a particular area. Using the ANES data, I conduct a regression analysis with an interaction of the respondent’s ideology and the geographic location. Chapter three analyzes how individuals perceive a political candidate based on partisan and geographic information presented to the respondent. Using an original survey experiment, this study seeks to illustrate how individuals across urban and rural America perceive Republican and Democratic candidates of different geographic backgrounds. Upon reading the candidate’s information, respondents are asked to evaluate the candidate based on whether the respondent would support the candidate, whether the candidate would represent their community well, and whether they have a general favorable impression of the candidate. Chapter four assesses how respondents perceive fellow citizens when they are presented with geographic information as well as information about their gun ownership and recycling habits. Respondents are then asked how favorable they find the person, how willing they would be to socially interact with the person, and how liberal or conservative they think the person is. The research and its subsequent findings contribute to the study and understanding of American political geography and the results suggest that place plays a role in political perceptions and evaluations.



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