A Statistical Analysis of the Impact of September 11 and the War on Terror on Presidential Public Approval Ratings in the United States of America

A Statistical Analysis of the Impact of September 11 and the War on Terror on Presidential Public Approval Ratings in the United States of America

Author by Dr. Gift Ntiwunka

Journal/Publisher: International Review Of Politics And Development

Volume/Edition: 6

Language: English

Pages: 121 - 131

Abstract

The behavior of states in relation to other states, or non- state units in the International system, that is their foreign policy, is identified as being molded and shaped by several factors – internal, external and psychological. Richard Snyder’s Comprehensive Internal- External settings model presents a very comprehensive model for analyzing the various sources of states foreign policy behavior, as well as the linkages amongst these. The central objectives of this study are to ascertain how foreign policy choices can affect domestic factors, specifically presidential public approval ratings; and demonstrate the verity of Snyder’s claim that foreign policy choices have a linkage with domestic factors by assessing same using a specific case study.

The case for study is the United States, specifically President Bush’s public approval ratings before and after 9/11 and the implementation of the War on Terror. Using the chi-square test of the independence of categorical variables, the hypothesis is tested at a level of significance of 0.05. The study concludes that the American president’s public approval does depend on his foreign policy choices since there is significant statistical difference between President Bush’s public approval before and after 9/11 and the War on terror. This further helps us understand the defeat of the Republican Party in both midterm and general elections in 2008.

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