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Effects of General Presidential Campaigns on Voters, 1980-2000
Unformatted Document Text:  Effects of General Presidential Campaigns on Voters, 1980-2000 ABSTRACT We used National Election Studies (NES) data from the six most recent presidential campaigns to ascertain the effect of campaigns on issue knowledge, evaluations of the Republican and Democratic candidate, issue salience (the number of issues used to evaluate the two candidates) and character salience (the number of character traits used to evaluate the two candidates). The analysis correlated the days passed in the campaign with levels of the dependent variables. Results show that campaigns are capable of, but do not necessarily, affect each of these variables. Furthermore, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents usually exhibited different effects. Effects related to policy (issue learning, policy salience) occur more frequently in voters than effects related to character (character evaluation, character salience). Implications for campaigns, and the study of campaign effects, are discussed. Key Terms: Campaign effects, issue knowledge, character evaluation, issue salience, character salience, political party

Authors: Leshner, Glenn., Benoit, William. and Hansen, Glenn.
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Effects of General Presidential Campaigns on Voters, 1980-2000
ABSTRACT
We used National Election Studies (NES) data from the six most recent presidential
campaigns to ascertain the effect of campaigns on issue knowledge, evaluations of the Republican
and Democratic candidate, issue salience (the number of issues used to evaluate the two candidates)
and character salience (the number of character traits used to evaluate the two candidates). The
analysis correlated the days passed in the campaign with levels of the dependent variables. Results
show that campaigns are capable of, but do not necessarily, affect each of these variables.
Furthermore, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents usually exhibited different effects. Effects
related to policy (issue learning, policy salience) occur more frequently in voters than effects related
to character (character evaluation, character salience). Implications for campaigns, and the study of
campaign effects, are discussed.
Key Terms: Campaign effects, issue knowledge, character evaluation, issue salience, character
salience, political party


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