【Empirical Seminar】The Rise of the Religious Right: Evidence from the Moral Majority and the Carter Presidency

  • 研討會日期 : 2023-11-07
  • 時間 : 10:30
  • 主講人 : Professor Brian Knight
  • 地點 : Conference Room B110
  • 演講者簡介 : Professor Brian Knight received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2000. He is currently a Professor at Brown University. His research interests are political economy, fiscal federalism, and local public finance.
  • 演講摘要 : We investigate the rise of the religious right in the context of the Moral Majority and the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, the first Evangelical President. While Evangelical leaders did not take a strong stance in the 1976 election, Jerry Falwell, a key televangelist, headed the newly formed Moral Majority, which campaigned against Carter and for Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Election. We first develop a theoretical model of multidimensional politics in which single issue voters follow issue leader endorsements when choosing which candidates to support. Using data from county-level voting returns, exit polls, and surveys, we find that, consistent with our model predictions, Evangelical voters followed the lead of the Moral Majority, shifting from supporting Carter in 1976 to Reagan in 1980. Using the irregular terrain model, we also find that these effects are driven by counties that were exposed to the televised program of Jerry Falwell.