Origins of Religious Language in Gubernatorial Speeches Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Moore, Monica Leigh
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • Elected officials have to make decisions about how they wish to communicate with their constituencies. Assuming that these public officials are motivated by reelection, it becomes important for them to use their times of communication with their constituents to develop a sense of trust and relatability that will help to carry them through their next election. In this paper, I argue that religion is one level on which public officials attempt to appear relatable to their citizens in order to gain their trust. I use a sample of governors' State of the State speeches from 2004-2011 from which I gather data on how much religious language each speech contains. I also collected data on the percent of each state's population that would be classified as highly religious. After controlling for other possible intervening factors, I find support for the argument that governors do respond to the size of their state's religious population by using more religious rhetoric in their public speeches.
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  • In Copyright
  • Carsey, Thomas M.
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2012

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