Presidential Appointments and Public Trust
Gary E. Hollibaugh Jr.
University of Notre Dame - Department of Political Science
January 5, 2015
Despite their responsibility for federal policy implementation in the United States, little research has focused on how presidential nominees and appointees affect public opinion. This study offers the first systematic examination of this overlooked phenomenon. Using a survey with an embedded experimental manipulation, we find that perceived nominee competence is associated with increased trust in the administration in general and the individual nominees in particular, whereas perceptions of favoritism or patronage — characterized here as the nomination of campaign fundraisers — are associated with decreased levels of trust in the same. Notably, perceived nominee ideology has no perceptible effect on either trust in the administration or the nominees themselves.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 68
Keywords: presidency, appointments, trust, public opinion, mturk, survey experiments, experiments, online experiments
JEL Classification: D70, D72, D79
Date posted: March 7, 2014 ; Last revised: January 7, 2015
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