Terror warnings undermine conservative candidates.

PhysOrg enters the presidential fray with a new UC Berkeley study that finds playing the terror card can backfire on political conservatives:

…[A] new national field study conducted by UC Berkeley sociologists Robb Willer and Nick Adams shows that terror warnings delivered by such government agencies as the Department of Homeland Security may reduce support for Sen. John McCain among moderates or swing voters.

While the survey shows that terror alerts have little, if any, influence on how self-described conservatives and liberals cast their ballots, politically moderate voters or swing voters are less likely to vote for McCain in the face of an imminent terror threat, according to a report on the survey published this week in the journal Current Research in Social Psychology.

“Most past research led us to expect that terror threats would increase support for conservatives,” said Willer, lead author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at UC Berkeley. “But discontent with Bush’s approach to the war on terror could be impacting views of McCain.”