Elite cues and public polarization on transgender rights


This study adds to the emerging literature explaining public opinion toward transgender rights by demonstrating the importance of elite cues for such an opinion. Data from two cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2015 and 2016 measure public opinion on several policies affecting transgender people. Consistent with Zaller (1992), the results indicate “polarization effects” whereby the most politically aware citizens followed increasingly divided elite cues along ideological lines. The future trajectory of public opinion on transgender rights would thus seem to depend significantly on the behavior of elites.

Politics, Groups, and Identities, 8(1):71-85
Philip Edward Jones
Philip Edward Jones
Associate Professor of Political Science