Partisan Patterns in the Aftermath of Terror: Civil Liberties, Spending and the Centrality of Fear




Mayer, Jeremy D.
Koizumi, Naoru
LaPorte, Todd

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Among the most reliable patterns in American partisan, public opinion is the consistent antipathy towards higher government spending exhibited by Republicans compared to Democrats. This gap in public opinion has grown, not shrunk in the recent era. Another consistent divide in partisan public opinion is the tendency by Democrats to favor civil liberties more than "law and order" Republican. Our paper examines whether American citizens follow these partisan patterns in the context of the war on terror. Specifically, do Democrats and Republicans remain divided in predictable ways when asked about spending more to protect our civil infrastructure against terrorism, and about limiting civil liberties in order to more effectively fight terrorism? We find that partisanship does not influence views on sacrificing civil liberties in the fight on terror, and is less influential than fear of terrorism on the spending questions.


A paper presented at the American Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting, August 31, 2006, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Civil liberties, Partisan pattern, Terrorism, Critical infrastructure, Government spending, Mayer, LaPorte, Koizumi, Jeremy D. Mayer, Naoru Koizumi, Todd LaPorte, SPP, School of Public Policy, GMU, George Mason University