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Agenda setting and political partisanship in an election campaign: Reinforcing and undermining partisan voting intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  10 In four separate items, respondents then indicated how much they believed most Australians supported the Government / Opposition response to the on-agenda issues of defense / immigration (1= not at all, 7= very much). In eight separate items, respondents also indicated how much they personally supported the Government / Opposition response to the issues of defense / immigration (1= not at all to 7= very much), and how each party’s response to the issues of defense / immigration had made them feel about that party (1= very negative to 7= very positive). Responses to the latter items were combined and averaged to provide composite measures of personal support for the Government and Opposition response to the issues of immigration ( α s = .93 and .81) and defense ( α s = .89 and .78). In an open-ended item, respondents described the qualities they would look for in a political leader in the current social and political context. Respondents then indicated how much they believed each of the political leaders, John Howard (Government) and Kim Beazley (Opposition), possessed these leadership qualities (1= not at all to 7= very much). In two separate items, respondents also indicated how much confidence they had in each of the political leaders’ ability to lead Australia (1= none at all to 7= very much). Responses to these items were combined and averaged to form single composite measures of confidence in John Howard and Kim Beazley ( α s = .90 and .84 respectively). Finally, respondents indicated which party they thought would win the election (1 = the ALP definitely, 4 = unsure, 7 = the Coalition definitely), and which party they personally intended to vote for. Voting behaviour and evaluations of the election outcome (post-election ). Post-election, respondents indicated which party they had voted for. Then, respondents indicated how much thought they had given to their voting decision (1 = none at all to 7 = a great deal); how certain they felt about the voting decision they had made (1 = not at all certain to 7 = very certain); and whether or not they had reconsidered their voting intentions at any stage leading up to the election (1 = no, not at all to 7 = yes, definitely). Responses to these items were only moderately correlated, -.44 r .23, and they were retained as separate outcome measures. In an open- ended item respondents also speculated about what they thought would be the key issues for John Howard’s government in the next 12 months and then indicated how much confidence they had in John Howard’s ability to lead Australia forward (1 = none at all to 7 = very much).

Authors: Duck, Julie., Morton, Thomas. and Fortey, Kate.
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10
In four separate items, respondents then indicated how much they believed most
Australians supported the Government / Opposition response to the on-agenda issues of defense
/ immigration (1= not at all, 7= very much). In eight separate items, respondents also indicated
how much they personally supported the Government / Opposition response to the issues of
defense / immigration (1= not at all to 7= very much), and how each party’s response to the
issues of defense / immigration had made them feel about that party (1= very negative to 7=
very positive). Responses to the latter items were combined and averaged to provide composite
measures of personal support for the Government and Opposition response to the issues of
immigration (
α
s = .93 and .81) and defense (
α
s = .89 and .78).
In an open-ended item, respondents described the qualities they would look for in a
political leader in the current social and political context. Respondents then indicated how much
they believed each of the political leaders, John Howard (Government) and Kim Beazley
(Opposition), possessed these leadership qualities (1= not at all to 7= very much). In two
separate items, respondents also indicated how much confidence they had in each of the political
leaders’ ability to lead Australia (1= none at all to 7= very much). Responses to these items were
combined and averaged to form single composite measures of confidence in John Howard and
Kim Beazley (
α
s = .90 and .84 respectively).
Finally, respondents indicated which party they thought would win the election (1 = the
ALP definitely, 4 = unsure, 7 = the Coalition definitely), and which party they personally
intended to vote for.
Voting behaviour and evaluations of the election outcome (post-election ). Post-election,
respondents indicated which party they had voted for. Then, respondents indicated how much
thought they had given to their voting decision (1 = none at all to 7 = a great deal); how certain
they felt about the voting decision they had made (1 = not at all certain to 7 = very certain); and
whether or not they had reconsidered their voting intentions at any stage leading up to the
election (1 = no, not at all to 7 = yes, definitely). Responses to these items were only moderately
correlated, -.44 r
.23, and they were retained as separate outcome measures. In an open-
ended item respondents also speculated about what they thought would be the key issues for
John Howard’s government in the next 12 months and then indicated how much confidence they
had in John Howard’s ability to lead Australia forward (1 = none at all to 7 = very much).


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