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A Study of Agenda-Setting Theory in Presidential Debates in Mexico’s 2000 Presidential Campaign
Unformatted Document Text:  30 When correlated, candidate image attributes mentioned in television news showed a relationship with candidate image attributes that were important for the public. Nevertheless, the relationship between those variables was not statistically significant according to the 95 percent rule, the Pearson correlation coefficient between television coverage on image and public mentions on image during April is r= + .40 (P = .15) N = 9. The same relationship was tested for public’s candidate image attributes in data from the panel study collected in June, and the relationship was positive r= + .41 but not statistically significant under the 95 percent decision rule (P = .13) N=9. However, a relationship between those variables exists and it merits being reported. Hypothesis 5. This hypothesis stated that debate’s issue agenda affects the public’s issue agenda. This hypothesis was disconfirmed by correlating data obtained from the content analysis of the debates and data from the Mexico 2000 Panel Study. The relationship between those variables was not statistically significant and the Pearson correlation coefficient was r = .00 (P = .50) N=8. The fact that this hypothesis was disconfirmed could be also due to the nature of debate content. Generally candidates discuss issues during a debate, but since debates are televised and highly image-focus events, reporting and public’s perceptions of those events concentrate in image characteristics rather than issues. Sometimes accounts on issues discussed on political debates are harder to recall than perceptions on personality and performance. The notion of winners and losers is re-enforced by the prevalence of images during the performance and the confrontation with others. Table 6. Mentions of Candidate Image Attributes Regarded as Important by the Public During the 2000 Campaign

Authors: Mercado, Antonieta., Hellweg, Susan., Dozier, David. and Hofstetter, C..
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30
When correlated, candidate image attributes mentioned in
television news showed a relationship with candidate image
attributes that were important for the public. Nevertheless,
the relationship between those variables was not statistically
significant according to the 95 percent rule, the Pearson
correlation coefficient between television coverage on image
and public mentions on image during April is r= + .40 (P =
.15) N = 9. The same relationship was tested for public’s
candidate image attributes in data from the panel study
collected in June, and the relationship was positive r= + .41
but not statistically significant under the 95 percent
decision rule (P = .13) N=9. However, a relationship between
those variables exists and it merits being reported.
Hypothesis 5. This hypothesis stated that debate’s issue
agenda affects the public’s issue agenda. This hypothesis was
disconfirmed by correlating data obtained from the content
analysis of the debates and data from the Mexico 2000 Panel
Study. The relationship between those variables was not
statistically significant and the Pearson correlation
coefficient was r = .00 (P = .50) N=8.
The fact that this hypothesis was disconfirmed could be
also due to the nature of debate content. Generally candidates
discuss issues during a debate, but since debates are
televised and highly image-focus events, reporting and
public’s perceptions of those events concentrate in image
characteristics rather than issues. Sometimes accounts on
issues discussed on political debates are harder to recall
than perceptions on personality and performance. The notion of
winners and losers is re-enforced by the prevalence of images
during the performance and the confrontation with others.
Table 6.
Mentions of Candidate Image Attributes Regarded as
Important by the Public During the 2000 Campaign


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