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Five Reasons That You Vote the Way You Do

• October 05, 2012 • 9:35 AM

Wide-ranging recent research provides provocative clues into why one American votes Democrat and another Republican.

With the first U.S. presidential debate now history, the 2012 election has entered its final phase, and both major party candidates are making their final pitches to the voters. Polls suggest very few Americans are genuinely undecided; most of us are firmly convinced that one side or the other has the stronger argument. But how are those attitudes formed?  Why does one person grow up to be a liberal, and another a conservative? Social science research is beginning to come up with some compelling answers.

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Tom Jacobs
Staff writer Tom Jacobs is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience at daily newspapers. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Daily News and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Ventura County Star.

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