ERIC Number: ED164429
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Voter Attitudes on the 1976 California Nuclear Initiative. Environmental Quality Series, No. 25.
Groth, Alexander J.; Schutz, Howard G.
To examine whether voting behavior is a good indicator of public opinion toward controversial issues such as nuclear power, a study was undertaken to assess the meaning of the defeat of Proposition 15 in California in June, 1976. Proposition 15 called for more stringent legislative regulation of the nuclear power industry. Specifically, the study assessed how issues relating to the initiative were perceived by different segments of the electorate. The study consisted of a survey of 1,000 randomly selected Sacramento County voters and of statistical analysis of the 633 valid returned questionnaires. Questions on the four-page questionnaire dealt with sources of information about Proposition 15 and nuclear power plant energy in general, satisfaction with the political structure of the United States, and demographic and socioeconomic information. Findings indicated that confusion over the wording of Proposition 15 caused many voters (particularly opponents) to vote incorrectly in terms of their own preferences for or against nuclear power. In general, findings indicated that the initiative was opposed by older, more conservative, and more affluent voters concerned with a high standard of living and favored by younger, more liberal, less affluent and conservation-minded voters. It is concluded that studies of voting behavior with regard to a specific controversial issue can provide information about voter perceptions and attitudes to individuals concerned with political strategy and policy formation. (KC)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Attitudes, Behavioral Science Research, Data Analysis, Demography, Elections, Energy, Energy Conservation, Majority Attitudes, Natural Resources, Nuclear Energy, Political Affiliation, Political Attitudes, Political Issues, Public Opinion, Socioeconomic Influences, Surveys, Tables (Data), Trend Analysis, Voting
Institute of Governmental Affairs, University of California, Davis, California 95616 ($3.50)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Davis. Inst. of Governmental Affairs.