The political beliefs and orientations of people with disabilities

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Abstract

Objective. Americans with disabilities have won major legislative victories in the last decade, but little is known about their political opinions and orientations. The purpose of this study is to develop and test a set of hypotheses about the political views of people with disabilities. Methods. A statewide telephone survey of 18-64-year-old New Mexicans with disabilities was contrasted with equivalent samples of the general New Mexico population. Results. Respondents with disabilities had a stronger pro-Democratic bias, more egalitarian beliefs, and greater interest in public health care than did the general sample. Respondents with disabilities also reported lower levels of political efficacy, but the findings regarding political activity were mixed. Conclusions. Our understanding of people with disabilities will improve dramatically if periodic national surveys begin to include one or more questions that identify those respondents who have disabilities. If the findings of this study hold true for the national population, a significant increase in the political involvement of people with disabilities could tip the scales of public opinion and partisan elections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-603
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Volume81
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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