Exercise 2. Marital status and congressional vote

  1. Voting behavior is related to several demographic or social characteristics. In this exercise, we examine the relationship of one such characteristic, marital status, to congressional vote. To examine this relationship for 2004, you should generate a table that shows the relationship between the individual's marital status (V147) and his or her vote in the U.S. House elections (V003).

  2. Table 2A must be interpreted somewhat differently than Table 1A. In looking for a relationship between party identification and presidential vote in Table 1A, we looked for a pattern of increased support for Bush as we went from left to right in the table. However, in looking for a relationship between marital status and vote in Table 2B, we should simply look for differences between the columns, not necessarily a pattern of increasing support for one candidate as we go from one end of the table to the other. That is because party identification is an ordinal variable, whereas marital status is a nominal variable. You need to recognize whether you have ordinal or nominal variables in your analysis. A discussion of nominal and ordinal variables is in the section on data analysis.

  3. We might wish to create a simpler version of Table 2A by recoding marital status.

  4. Generate a new, simpler table (Table 2B) by using a recoded version of marital status (there is no need to recode congressional vote since it contains only two possible categories). Compare Table 2B to Table 2A.