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Campaigning in Past Tense: How Candidate Background Alters Issue Agendas
Unformatted Document Text:  advertisements, and the strongly significant issues stay significant in this measure. At the same time, the effect of reputation is modest. Only five of the variables (Economy & Jobs, Local Issues, Spending, Social Security, Medicare) are positive and significant (and the Terrorism variable is negative and significant). I also conducted multivariate analysis using this measure of issue agenda. For these models, the dependent variable is the percentage of phrases about issues for each campaign for each issue. Since the dependent variable is continuous, I use Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression. The independent variables are the same as those used in Table 2. Again, a candidate’s reputation has a positive relationship with issue usage, as seen in Table 3. These relationships are less robust in these models than in the previous results. In six of the issues, there is a negative relationship. But in the other 12, there is a positive relationship, and in five of the models (Economy & Jobs, Values, Local Issues, Veterans, and Medicare), the relationship is significant. TABLE 3 About Here While the performance of the Reputation variable is modest, it again provides more explanatory power than the other variables in the models. Again in these models, a candidate’s partisanship has little effect on a campaign’s issue agenda, affecting only the amount of time spent discussing Health Care. Overall, the effect of a candidate’s reputation on campaign issue agendas is positive and robust for nearly all of the issues under study, across different statistical tests of two different measurements of the issue agendas of political campaigns. Despite the consistency of this finding, the differences in issue usage are not that great, indicating that a candidate’s reputation has a modest effect on issue choices. But since few variables show any consistent effect on issue 14

Authors: Arbour, Brian.
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advertisements, and the strongly significant issues stay significant in this measure. At the same
time, the effect of reputation is modest. Only five of the variables (Economy & Jobs, Local
Issues, Spending, Social Security, Medicare) are positive and significant (and the Terrorism
variable is negative and significant).
I also conducted multivariate analysis using this measure of issue agenda. For these
models, the dependent variable is the percentage of phrases about issues for each campaign for
each issue. Since the dependent variable is continuous, I use Ordinary Least Squares (OLS)
regression. The independent variables are the same as those used in Table 2.
Again, a candidate’s reputation has a positive relationship with issue usage, as seen in
Table 3. These relationships are less robust in these models than in the previous results. In six of
the issues, there is a negative relationship. But in the other 12, there is a positive relationship,
and in five of the models (Economy & Jobs, Values, Local Issues, Veterans, and Medicare), the
relationship is significant.
TABLE 3 About Here
While the performance of the Reputation variable is modest, it again provides more
explanatory power than the other variables in the models. Again in these models, a candidate’s
partisanship has little effect on a campaign’s issue agenda, affecting only the amount of time
spent discussing Health Care.
Overall, the effect of a candidate’s reputation on campaign issue agendas is positive and
robust for nearly all of the issues under study, across different statistical tests of two different
measurements of the issue agendas of political campaigns. Despite the consistency of this
finding, the differences in issue usage are not that great, indicating that a candidate’s reputation
has a modest effect on issue choices. But since few variables show any consistent effect on issue
14


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