Inside The Echo Chamber

Overview

This dissertation addresses two overarching and related research questions: first, how do candidates shape their campaign strategy regarding issue coverage and emphasis, and, second, how do those strategic choices influence the electorate? It seeks to answer those questions in the contexts of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and 2000, 2002, and 2004 congressional elections in the United States. The data analyzed include information on candidate-sponsored television advertisements aired over the course of ...
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More About This Book

Overview

This dissertation addresses two overarching and related research questions: first, how do candidates shape their campaign strategy regarding issue coverage and emphasis, and, second, how do those strategic choices influence the electorate? It seeks to answer those questions in the contexts of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and 2000, 2002, and 2004 congressional elections in the United States. The data analyzed include information on candidate-sponsored television advertisements aired over the course of the general elections and public opinion surveys conducted over the same time periods. I argue that candidates, in efforts to prime issues and ultimately win elections, will incorporate a variety of considerations in their strategic calculus, including party issue ownership reputations; personal characteristics like sex and political expertise; electorate demographics like partisanship; and the nature of an individual issue, such as its public salience and whether it is an issue on which distinctions between opponents can be drawn. Moreover, these considerations and their relative strength vary from year to year and issue to issue, and hence, building a model of candidate issue emphasis requires a strong role for political context and points to the ineffectiveness of a single explanation. In addition, I argue that public responses to campaign activity will be seen but that such responses will generally be limited and conditional on voter characteristics like party identification and political sophistication. Thus, responses will be unevenly distributed among the electorate and, given the importance of the politics surrounding an individual issue, will vary across issues. The implications of this work center on the inadequacy on a single or combination of existing explanations of candidate issue emphasis to be broadly applicable without factoring in the context in which candidates run. The observed variation in candidate behaviors points particularly to the importance of a given issue's politics, especially the degree to which it is a politicized position issue. If it is, it becomes much more likely that candidates will incorporate the issues and engage in dialogue with their opponents.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243674791
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/7/2011
  • Pages: 170
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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