Political Alienation: Behavioral Implications of Efficacy and Trust in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

Priscilla Southwell


This research centers on three dimensions of political alienation – internal efficacy, external efficacy, and political trust. Multivariate analysis of the demographic determinants of political efficacy and trust suggests that females, blacks, and latinos were more like to exhibit feelings of internal and external efficacy, but trust is significantly higher only among the well-educated and strong partisans. We then examined the behavioral implications of these attitudes on voter turnout and candidate preference in the 2008 presidential election. Logit analysis of the 2008-2009 American National Election Study data suggests that internal efficacy increases turnout while external efficacy and trust are insignificant. With regard to candidate preference, those individuals exhibiting internal and external efficacy were more likely to vote for Barack Obama, while trust was insignificant.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/res.v4n2p71

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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