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A Functional Analysis of Presidential Direct Mail Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  Functions of Direct Mail 19 19 Hypothesis twelve predicted that acclaims would occur more often in the primary (and attacks less often) than in the general campaign. The data reported in Table 1 show that acclaims are 85% of utterances in the primary but 70% in the general campaign; attacks are 15% of primary brochure statements and 30% of general campaign claims. A chi-square revealed that these differences were significant ( 2 [df=1]=624.31, p<.0001, r=.13), supporting this prediction. The 13 th hypothesis anticipated that character would be more common (and policy less) in primary than general campaigns. Table 2 shows that 62% of brochure utterances in the primary concern policy, whereas 76% do so in the general campaign; in contrast, 38% of statements in the primary address character, but only 24% do so in the general campaign. These differences are statistically significant ( 2 [df=1]=486.03, p<.0001, r=.15). This hypothesis was confirmed. Campaign Outcome H14 predicted that there would be no difference in the function of direct mail brochures from election winners and losers. Table 1 indicates that there was no difference in the functions of statements from winners and losers in all direct mail brochures. Cohen (1988) indicates that the power of a test with an n of 1000 (1000 is the largest n in Cohen’s 2 table; the n here is 20,526, which should be divided by 2 for this test) is .89, over .99, and over .99 to detect small, medium, and large effects. Our large sample, combined with 2 s sensitivity to n, makes this test very powerful. Hypothesis fifteen indicated that winners would discuss policy more, and character less, than losers. Inspection of Table 2 reveals that winners emphasized policy more (73%, 68%) and character less (27%, 32%) than losers. These differences were significant ( 2 [df=1]=77.01,

Authors: Stein, Kevin. and Benoit, William.
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Functions of Direct Mail 19
19
Hypothesis twelve predicted that acclaims would occur more often in the primary (and
attacks less often) than in the general campaign. The data reported in Table 1 show that acclaims
are 85% of utterances in the primary but 70% in the general campaign; attacks are 15% of
primary brochure statements and 30% of general campaign claims. A chi-square revealed that
these differences were significant (
2
[df=1]=624.31, p<.0001, r=.13), supporting this prediction.
The 13
th
hypothesis anticipated that character would be more common (and policy less) in
primary than general campaigns. Table 2 shows that 62% of brochure utterances in the primary
concern policy, whereas 76% do so in the general campaign; in contrast, 38% of statements in the
primary address character, but only 24% do so in the general campaign. These differences are
statistically significant (
2
[df=1]=486.03, p<.0001, r=.15). This hypothesis was confirmed.
Campaign Outcome
H14 predicted that there would be no difference in the function of direct mail brochures
from election winners and losers. Table 1 indicates that there was no difference in the functions
of statements from winners and losers in all direct mail brochures. Cohen (1988) indicates that
the power of a test with an n of 1000 (1000 is the largest n in Cohen’s
2
table; the n here is
20,526, which should be divided by 2 for this test) is .89, over .99, and over .99 to detect small,
medium, and large effects. Our large sample, combined with
2
s sensitivity to n, makes this test
very powerful.
Hypothesis fifteen indicated that winners would discuss policy more, and character less,
than losers. Inspection of Table 2 reveals that winners emphasized policy more (73%, 68%) and
character less (27%, 32%) than losers. These differences were significant (
2
[df=1]=77.01,


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