Volume XXXI – Number 2
Abstract: Most theories of voting behavior posit that foreign policy issues are unimportant when considering voter choice. However, this article argues that in the United States, voter choice is significantly impacted by foreign policy decisions. To underscore this conclusion, three hypotheses are tested by examining elections between the 1950s and the 1980s. The first hypothesis is that United States voters with a militant posture are likely to favor Cold War containment policy. The second hypothesis is that militant voters are more likely to vote for George Bush in the 1988 election. Finally, the third hypothesis is that those who favored a militant posture consider themselves highly patriotic and morally traditional. Ultimately, strong support for each of these hypotheses is found and, upon a closer review, this study reveals that negative perceptions of the USSR (as a foreign policy issue) have shaped conservative voting throughout the Cold War.