All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Agenda setting and political partisanship in an election campaign: Reinforcing and undermining partisan voting intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Agenda setting and political partisanship in an election campaign: Reinforcing and undermining partisan voting intentions From the earliest voting studies (e.g., The People’s Choice, Lazarsfeld, Berelson & Gaudet, 1948) it has been argued that the principal impact of election campaigns is to push political partisans into their respective corners, reinforcing pre-existing attitudes and polarizing the responses of political opponents (see Iyengar & Simon, 2000). Research in this tradition has focused on demonstrating how political pre-dispositions act as a powerful lens or filter through which campaign content is viewed, and on showing that direct persuasive influence on the attitudes and behavior of voters is limited largely to the politically unaligned. By contrast, research in the tradition of agenda-setting (e.g., McCombs & Shaw, 1972, 1993; McCombs, Shaw, & Weaver, 1997) has emphasized the ways in which media coverage of socio-political issues sets the agenda for election campaigns and determines which particular issues the public are thinking about as they contemplate their vote. From this perspective, the media is instrumental, if more indirectly, in influencing the yardsticks by which candidates and parties are evaluated at a given point in time. The fact that such agendas typically favor one political side, has received surprisingly little attention. The aim of this study is, therefore, to examine the interplay between agenda-setting and political partisanship in an election campaign. It is argued that although media coverage can shape perceptions of the public agenda, personal acceptance of a politicized public agenda may influence and polarize the behavior of partisan voters, consolidating partisan intentions among those whose party is perceived to be able to deliver on agenda issues and undermining partisan voting intentions among those whose party is not. From a social identity perspective, political partisanship is central to an understanding of political thinking and behavior during election campaigns. For instance, Price (1989) reasons that media coverage of controversial issues (e.g., election issues) crystallizes differences between the sides and encourages audiences to respond primarily as group members. Party identification acts as an important cognitive cue or heuristic to guide decision making about candidates and messages (e.g., Skitka & Robideau, 1997) and the reinforcing effect of political campaigns on partisan attitudes and intentions can be attributed to the interaction between the content or slant of campaign messages and voters’ prior political preferences or partisanship (Iyengar & Simon, 2000). In accordance with classic social judgment theory (Sherif & Hovland,

Authors: Duck, Julie., Morton, Thomas. and Fortey, Kate.
first   previous   Page 2 of 34   next   last



background image
2
Agenda setting and political partisanship in an election campaign:
Reinforcing and undermining partisan voting intentions
From the earliest voting studies (e.g., The People’s Choice, Lazarsfeld, Berelson &
Gaudet, 1948) it has been argued that the principal impact of election campaigns is to push
political partisans into their respective corners, reinforcing pre-existing attitudes and polarizing
the responses of political opponents (see Iyengar & Simon, 2000). Research in this tradition has
focused on demonstrating how political pre-dispositions act as a powerful lens or filter through
which campaign content is viewed, and on showing that direct persuasive influence on the
attitudes and behavior of voters is limited largely to the politically unaligned. By contrast,
research in the tradition of agenda-setting (e.g., McCombs & Shaw, 1972, 1993; McCombs,
Shaw, & Weaver, 1997) has emphasized the ways in which media coverage of socio-political
issues sets the agenda for election campaigns and determines which particular issues the public
are thinking about as they contemplate their vote. From this perspective, the media is
instrumental, if more indirectly, in influencing the yardsticks by which candidates and parties
are evaluated at a given point in time. The fact that such agendas typically favor one political
side, has received surprisingly little attention. The aim of this study is, therefore, to examine the
interplay between agenda-setting and political partisanship in an election campaign. It is argued
that although media coverage can shape perceptions of the public agenda, personal acceptance
of a politicized public agenda may influence and polarize the behavior of partisan voters,
consolidating partisan intentions among those whose party is perceived to be able to deliver on
agenda issues and undermining partisan voting intentions among those whose party is not.
From a social identity perspective, political partisanship is central to an understanding of
political thinking and behavior during election campaigns. For instance, Price (1989) reasons
that media coverage of controversial issues (e.g., election issues) crystallizes differences
between the sides and encourages audiences to respond primarily as group members. Party
identification acts as an important cognitive cue or heuristic to guide decision making about
candidates and messages (e.g., Skitka & Robideau, 1997) and the reinforcing effect of political
campaigns on partisan attitudes and intentions can be attributed to the interaction between the
content or slant of campaign messages and voters’ prior political preferences or partisanship
(Iyengar & Simon, 2000). In accordance with classic social judgment theory (Sherif & Hovland,


Convention
All Academic Convention can solve the abstract management needs for any association's annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 2 of 34   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.