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Political Science


This study reformulates the classic funnel of causality proposed in The American Voter. Where The American Voter suggests that group affiliation and values are equally influential in candidate choice, the foundational sociological literature suggest that values are derived from group affiliation, and therefore The American Voter has misconceptualized the ordering of these influences. We concur with the sociological literature, which suggests that values are more proximate to that decision than is group affiliation. Examining data from a 2002 statewide survey of Florida residents, and using religious affiliation as a measure of group affiliation, we explore the effects of political core values, such as egalitarianism and moral traditionalism, and religious affiliation on support for Florida Governor Jeb Bush and vote intentions. We employ ordered logistical models to test our Proximity Hypothesis, finding support for the contention that in the process of forming an attitude about a political candidate, core values are more proximate to the final attitude than is group affiliation. This finding is an important contribution to the debate in political behavior over the relative influence of individual belief systems and groups.

Original Publication Information

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Gainous, Jason and Bill Radunovich. "Religion and Core Values: A Reformulation of the Funnel of Causality." March 2005. Politics & Policy 33(1): 154-180.

which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.