A new US study has found "significantly more conservative social and political attitudes" among people near churches than those near municipal buildings like schools. Since both serve as polling stations, voting location could affect a close-run election.
The research is reinforced by a 2008 study by Stanford business school, which found that in Arizona's 2000 elections, people voting in schools were – regardless of other factors – more likely to support higher education spending. In a control experiment, people shown images of churches proved less likely to back stem cell funding. "Environmental cues", they concluded, may in some cases influence voting outcomes even more than political views.